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1985

The Son of the Morning and the Guardian Cherub


in the Context of the Controversy Between Good
and Evil
Jose M. Bertoluci
Andrews University

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Bertoluci, Jose M., "The Son of the Morning and the Guardian Cherub in the Context of the Controversy Between Good and Evil"
(1985). Dissertations. Paper 17.

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8515546

Bertoluci, Jose M a ria

THE SON OF THE MORNING AND THE GUARDIAN CHERUB IN THE


CONTEXT OF THE CONTROVERSY BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL

A nd'ew s University Th.D. 1985

University
Microfilms
International 300 N. Zeeb Road. Ann Arbor. Ml 48106

Copyright 1985

by
Bertoluci, Jose Maria
All Rights Reserved

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Andrews U n iv e r s it y

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

THE SON OF THE MORNING AND THE GUARDIAN CHERUB


IN THE CONTEXT OF THE CONTROVERSY BETWEEN
GOOD AND EVIL

A D is s e r ta tio n

Presented ir. P a r t i a l F u lfillm e n t

o f the Requirements f o r the Degree

Doctor o f Theology

By

Jose M. B e rto lu c i

June 1985

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THE SON OF THE MORNING AND THE GUARDIAN CHERUB
IN THE CONTEXT OF THE CONTROVERSY BETWEEN
GOOD AND EVIL

A d is s e r ta tio n presented

in p a r t i a l f u l f i l l m e n t o f the requirements

f o r the degree

Doctor of Theology

by

Jos§ M. B e rto lu c i

APPROVAL BY THE COMMITTEE

W illia m H. Shea, Chairman Jaerhard F. H a s e l, Oean


Professor of Old Testament / ^ p A Theological Seminary

( $ C V K iU £ s / / 1
LaWrehce
ivWhce T. G e ra ty , Professor
o f Archaeology and H is to r y of
A n tiq tH ty

J«€rhard F. H a s e l, Professor
0 7 Old Testament and B i b l i c a l
eology

/
Jacques B. Douknan, Associate
Professor o f Old Testament
In t^ rp re ta ti
JO M
John'H. SaiThAme'r, Associate Date Approvftf TT~
Professor of Old Testament
anS/Semitic Languages
T r i n i t y Evangelical D i v i n i t y
School

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C o p y r ig h t ; 1985, Jose M. B e r to lu c i

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ABSTRACT

THE SON OF THE MORNING AND THE GUARDIAN CHERUB


IN THE CONTEXT OF THE CONTROVERSY BETWEEN
GOOD AND EVIL

By

Jose M. B e rto lu c i

Chairman: W illia m H. Shea

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ABSTRACT OF GRADUATE STUDENT RESEARCH

Di s s e r ta tio n

Andrews U n iv e r s ity

Seventh-day A dventist Theological Seminary

T itle : THE SON OF THE MORNING AND THE GUARDIAN CHERUB IN THE
CONTEXT OF THE CONTROVERSY BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL

Name o f researcher: Jose M. B e rto lu c i

Name and t i t l e o f f a c u l t y a d v is e r: W illiam H. Shea, Ph.D.

Date completed: June 1985

Problem

Isaiah 14:12-15 and E zekiel 28:12-19 have been used, since the

times o f the Church Fa the rs, to e x p la in the o r i g i n o f sin in the u n i­

verse, and i n te r p r e t e d as d e p ic tin g the f a l l o f Satan from heaven.

However, through the years— e s p e c i a l l y from the end o f the nineteenth

century and on— theologians have a ffirm ed th a t those passages re o o rt

h i s t o r i c a l events, making use o f mythological m a te ria l in t h e i r nar­

r a t i v e s ; and th e r e fo r e have not to do with the o r i g i n o f sin or Satan.

I t is the aim o f t h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n to v e r i f y these claim s.

Method and Results

Chapter 1 reviews the i n t e r p r e t a t io n s o f the passages from

the f i r s t c e n tu rie s o f the C h r is tia n Era t i l l the p re se n t. U n til

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2

the end o f the nineteenth c e n tu ry, both passages were in te r p r e te d

in two main ways: (1) r e f e r r i n g to Satan or (2 ) r e f e r r i n g to some

h i s t o r i c a l f i g u r e , perhaps some Babylonian r u l e r . From th a t time

the mythological view has added to the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n .

Chapter 2 examines the a lle g e d o r ig in s and p a r a l l e l m a te ria l

found in Sumerian, Akkadian, H i t t i t e , Greek, l l g a r i t i c , as well as

B ib lic a l lite ra tu re . The research demonstrated th a t although s i m i l a r

m o tifs and imagery are pre se n t in the passages under study as w ell

as in l i t e r a t u r e of I s r a e l ' s neighbors, a myth o f Heiel ben Shahar

and o f the Guardian Cherub, which would r e f l e c t the B i b l i c a l account

in i t s main aspects, could not be found. I t seems the s i m i l a r i t i e s

in the use o f the terms and p ic tu re s are due to c u l t u r a l c o n tin u ity

or common elements in the a ncie nt Near East.

Chapter 3 examines the s tru c tu re o f Isa 14 and Ezek 28 in

r e l a t i o n to the immediate context and the whole books; and exegetes

the passages in the l i g h t o f the whole B ib le .

The exegesis shows t h a t : (1 ) these passages d e p ic t Helel

and the Cherub in a language which transcends the e a r t h l y realm;

(2 ) the immediate context and the whole books ( e s p e c i a l l y Is a ia h )

shows a tension between e a r t h l y and cosmic dimensions, as well as

a s tru g g le between the fo rc e s o f good and e v i l ; (3) Isa 14 uses

the words mashal and Babylon in a p a r t i c u l a r way; and (4 ) a

comparison between these two passages shows they d e p ic t the same

fig u re . These fa c to rs c a r r y us to the conclusion t h a t the two

passages p o r tr a y the f a l l o f the c h ie f angel Satan from heaven

and his ro le in the controversy between good and e v i l .

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To Nancy

w ithout whom . . .

. . . ™ ■» m 3 r

Jeremiah 2:2

iii

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS............................................................................ v ii

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ............................................................................................ x v ii

Chapter

I. INTRODUCTION ..................................................................................... 1

A Survey o f the L i t e r a t u r e on the


I n t e r p r e t a t io n o f Is a ia h 14............................................. 4
Apocrypha and PseudeDigrapha ..................................... 4
Jewish I n te r p r e t e r s .......................................................... 5
Church Fathers . ............................................................... 6
Middle A g e s ............................................................................ 9
From the Reformation to the Nineteenth Century . 10
Satan V i e w ................................................................................ 15
H i s t o r i c a l V i e w ................................................................... 17
Mythological V i e w ............................................................... 21
Twentieth Century ............................................................... 22
A Survey o f the L i t e r a t u r e on the
I n t e r p r e t a t io n o f E zekiel 2 8 ........................................ 36
Jewish I n te r p r e t e r s .......................................................... 36
From the Church Fathers to the Reformation . . . 36
The R e f o r m e r s ........................................................................ 38
In the Nineteenth C e n t u r y ............................................. 39
The Twentieth Century ...................................................... 41
C o n c l u s i o n s ................................................................................ 49
Observations Concerning Isa 14 .................................... 49
Observations Concerning Ezekiel 28 ........................... 53
Aim and Plan o f the S t u d y ................................................. 54

II. ORIGINS AND PARALLEL HYPOTHESES CONCERNING THE


ORACLES AGAINST THE KING OF BABYLON AND THE
PRINCE AND KING OF T Y R E .......................................................... 57

M e t h o d o l o g y ................................................................................ 58
Is a ia h 1 4 ..................................................................................... 60
E x tra -B ib lic a l L ite ra tu re ............................................. 60
S u m e r ia n ................................................................................ 61
A k k a d i a n ................................................................................ 64
The Descent o f I s h t a r to the Netherworld . . 64
The Myth o f Z u ............................................................... 68
The Etana M y t h ............................................................... 72

iv

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C h a p te r

II. ( C o n t in u e d )

H i t t i t e .................................................................................... 75
G r e e k ......................................................................................... 77
l l g a r i t i c .................................................................................... 82
Ashtar Texts .................................................................. 84
Some In d iv id u a l L lg a ritic Mythical
Expressions and the Alleged
P a r a l l e l s in Is a ia h 1 4 ....................................... 90
B ib lic a l L ite ra tu re .............................................................. 98
Gen 6 : 1 - 4 ................................................................................ 99
Psalm 8 2 .................................................................................... 101
In d iv id u a l Elements ......................................................... 105
C o n c l u s i o n s ................................................................................ 109
Ezekiel 2 8 .................................................................................... 110
.................................................................................... Ill
I S i t on the Throne o f a God in the
Heart o f the Seas ( D ' , D ', a ' ? a ) .......................... 114
i s n .................................................................................... 116
M e s o p o t a m i a ........................................................................... 124
G r e e c e ......................................................................................... 1 29
U g a r i t ......................................................................................... 130
B i b l i c a l O r ig in and P a r a l l e l Hypotheses .................. 134
The Genesis Paradise S tory and Ezekiel 28 . . . 134
Gen 6 : 1 - 4 ................................................................................ 139
Psalm 8 2 ..................................................................................... 140
C o n c l u s i o n s ................................................................................ 143

III. THE TAUNT AGAINST THE KING OF BABYLON AND


THE PRINCE AND KING OF T Y R E ................................................ 146

Is a ia h 1 4 : 4 b - 21 146
Lim its o f the P o e m .............................................................. 146
Poetic S tru c tu re and F o r m ................................................ 148
Strophe I — Vss. 4 b - 8 ......................................................... 151
Strophe I I — Vss. 9-11 152
Strophe I I I — Vss. 12-15 153
Strophes IV and V— Vss. 1 6 - 2 1 ( 2 2 ) .......................... 154
Mockery L a m e n t ....................................................................... 150
T e xt— Isa 1 4 : 4 b - 2 1 .............................................................. 166
H i s t o r i c a l Context ................................................................... 178
Authorship and Date o f C o m p o s itio n .......................... 178
H i s t o r i c a l I d e n t i f i c a t i o n o f the Tyrant .................. 182
In d iv id u a l A p p lic a tio n ..................................................... 183
C o l l e c t i v e A p p lic a tio n ..................................................... 188
P r e lim in a r y Conclusions ................................................ 190
Exegesis— Vss. 12-15 ......................................................... 192
H e l d ben Shahar ( ns? - ' 2 7 7 ”»r r ) ....................... 193
Other Alleged Mythic Expressions
in Vss. 1 3 - 1 5 ................................................................... 199

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C h a p te r

III. ( C o n t in u e d )

Stars o f El .................................................................. 200


Mount o f A s s e m b l y ..................................................... 201
Recesses o f the N o r t h ............................................. 201
Some S tr u c tu ra l Observations ............................................. 207
The Pride M o t i f ................................................................... 209
Past Events as the Root o f Motives
o f Present Condemnation ............................................. 214
Is a ia h 14 and the Whole Book of I s a i a h ...................... 217
Ezekiel 28:1-19 220
Lim its o f the P a s s a g e ..................................................... 220
L i t e r a r y F o r m ...................... 221
Vss. 1 - 1 0 ................................................................................ 221
Vss. 1 2 - 1 9 ................................................................................ 224
Te xt— Ezekiel 2 8 :1 -1 9 232
H is to r ic a l Context ................................................................... 245
Date o f C o m p o s i t i o n .......................................................... 245
H is t o r ic a l I d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the Prince
and the King o f T y r e ..................................................... 247
E x e g e s i s ......................................................................................... 248
Vss. 1 - 1 0 ................................................................................ 248
Vss. 1 1 - 1 9 ................................................................................ 253
P re lim in a ry Conclusions ...................................................... 258
Is a ia h 1 4:12-15 and Ezekiel 28:12-19—
A C om pa rison............................................................................ 271
S i m i l a r i t i e s ............................................................................ 271
D i f f e r e n c e s ............................................................................ 273
The Story of H elel and the Story o f the
Cherub in Isa 14 and Ezek 28 ........................................ 274
Is a ia h 14:12-15 ....................................................................... 276
The N o rm a l-H is to ric a l V i e w ............................................. 276
The Mythological V i e w ...................................................... 279
E z e k i e l ' 28:12-19 ....................................................................... 280
The Immediate H i s t o r i c a l and R e lig io u s
Context V i e w ....................................................................... 280
The Mythological V i e w ..................................................... 281
The Paradise S tory V i e w ..................................................... 281
itie Satan V i e w ....................................................................... 282
The Typological V i e w .............................................................. 288
Is a ia h I4 :4 b -2 1 ......................................................................... 289
Ezekiel 28:1-19 ................................................................... 292
C o n c l u s i o n s ............................................................................ 293

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS ....................................................................... 297

BIBLIOGRAPHY .................................................................................................. 304

vi

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L IS T OF ABBREVIATIONS

AB - - Anchor Bible

AcO — Acta o r i e n t a l i a

ABR — A u s tra lia n B i b l i c a l Review

AfO - - Archiv f u r Orientforschunq

AHCL - - Davidson, Benjamin. The A n a ly t ic a l Hebrew and Chaldee


Lexicon. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 19 .

AHW - - Assyrisches Handworterbuch

AIPH - - Annuaire de 1 ' i n s t i t u t de p h i l o l o g ie e t d 'h i s t o i r e


o r ie n ta le s

AJA — American Journal o f Archaeology

AJSL - - American Journal o f Sem itic Languages and L i t e r a t u r e

AKM — Abhandlunqen f u r die Kund des Morqelandes

ALBO — Analecta lo v an ie n sia b i b l i c a e t o r i e n t a l i a

AnBib - - Analecta B ib lic a

ANET - - P r it c h a r d , James B ., ed. Ancient Near Eastern Texts


R e latin g to the Old Testament. 3d ed. Princeton, NJ:
Princeton U n iv e r s ity Press, 1969.

ANF — The Ante-Nicene Fathers

AnOr - - Analecta O r i e n t a l i a

AOS — American O rie n ta l Series

AOT - - A 1 to r ie n ta lis c h e Texte zum A!ten Testament

AOAT — A l t e r O rien t und A lte s Testament

APOT — C harles, R. H . , ed. The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha


of the Old Testament in E n g lis h . 2 v o ls. Oxford:
Clarendon, 1913, rep. 1963.

ARQ — Les Anciennes R e lig ions O rie n ta le s

vi i

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ArOr ■- Archiv O r ie n t a ln i

ARW - Archiv fiir Rel iqionswi ssenschaft

AS - A ssyn'ological Studies

ASTI - Annual of the Swedish Theological In s titu te

ASV - American Standard Version

ATA - A ltte s ta m e n tlic h e Abhandlunqen

ATANT - Abhandlunqen zu r Theoloqie des Alten und Neuen Testaments

ATD - Das A lte Testament Deutsch

AUSDDS - Andrews U n i v e r s i t y Seminary Doctoral D is s e r ta tio n Series

AUSS - Andrews U n i v e r s i t y Seminary Studies

BaL -■ Bampton Lectures

BJ - La Bible de Jerusalem, 1956

BASOR - B u l l e t i n o f the American Schools o f O rie n ta l Research

BAT - Die Botschaft Des Alten Testaments

SCOT - Keil & D e lit z s c h , B ible Commentary on the Old Testament

BOB - Brown, Fra ncis ; D r i v e r , Samuel R . ; Briggs, Charles A.


A Hebrew and English Lexicon o f the Old Testament.
Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972.

BeO - Bibbia e O rie n t

BHK - • K i t t e l , Rudolf. B ib lic a H e b ra ic a . 7th ed. S tu ttg a rt:


Wiirttembergi sche B i b e l a n s t a l t , 1951.

8HS - • E l l i g e r , K. and Rudolph, W., eds. B ib lia Hebraica


S tu ttq a rte n s ia . S tu ttg art: Wiirttembergi sche
8 ib e la n s ta lt, 1 9 6 8 ff.

Bib - ■ B ib lic a

BJRL - ■ B u lle t in o f the John Rylands L ib r a ry

BKAT - ■ B ib lis c h e r Kommentar Altes Testament

BleA - ■ Bauer, Hans, and Leander, Pontus. Grammatik des B i b l i s c h -


Aramaischen. R e p rin t o f 1927 e d . ; Hildesheim: Georq 01ms,
1962.

BO - • B ib lic a e t O r i e n t a l i a

vi i i

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BR - - B i b l i c a l Research

BSac B ib lio th e c a Sacra

BTB — B i b l i c a l Theology B u lle t in

BUS — Brown U n i v e r s i t y Studies

BWANT — B eitrage zu r Wissenschaft vom A lte n und Neuen Testament

BZ — B ib lisc h e Z e i t s c h r i f t

BZAW — B e ih e fte z u r Z e i t s c h r i f t fu r d ie A 1 tte s ta m e n tlic h e


Wissenschaft

CAD - - Chicago Assyrian D ic tio n a ry

CBC — The Cambridge B ib le Commentary

CBNT — Coniectanea B ib lic a --N e w Testament Series

CBOT - - Coniectanea B i b l i c a — Old Testament Series

CBq — C a th o lic B i b l i c a l Q u a rte rly

CBSC — The Cambridge B ib le f o r Schools and Colleges

CCL — Corpus C h ris tian o ru m . Series L a tin a . T u r n n o lti:


Typographii Brepols Editores P o n t i f i c i i , 1 9 5 4 ff.

CHSL - - A Commentary on the Holy S c r i p t u r e s . Edited by John


Peter Lang. New York: Charles Scribners Sons, 1915.

ChW — Christentum und Wissenschaft

CQR — Church Q u a r t e r ly Review

CSCO — Corpus scriptorum christianorum o r ie n ta liu m

CTA - - Corpus des t a b l e t t e s en cuneiformes alphabetiques

CTBT — Cuneiform Texts from Babylonian T a b lets in The B r i t i s h


Museum

CTM — Concordia Theological Monthly

DB — D ic tio n a r y o f the B i b l e . Edited by James H astings. 4 vols.


New York: Charles S c r ib n e r 's , 1905-1912.

DBS - - D ic t io n n a ir e de la B ible Supplement. Edited by Henri


C a z e lle s . P a ris : L i b r a i r i e Letouzey e t Ane, 1957.

DCB — D ic tio n a r y o f C h r is tia n Biography. Edited by W illia m


Smith and Henry W a ll. Boston: L i t t l e , Brown & Company,
1877-1887.

ix

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DGRBM — D ic tio n a r y o f G re e k and Roman B io g r a p h y and M y t h o lo g y .
Edited by W illia m Smith. Boston: L i t t l e Brown Company,
1949.

DMOA — Documenta e t Monumenta O r ie n tis A n t i q u i .

EB - - Encyclopaedia B i b l i c a . Edited by T. K. Cheyne and


J. Black. London: A. & C. Black, 1899-1903.

EHST — Europaische Hochschulschriften

EstBib — Estudios Bfblicos

ETL - - Ephemerides theoloqicae lovanienses

EvQ — Evangelical Q u a rte rly

EvTh — Evangeliche Theologie

Exp — Exposi t o r

Exp8 - - The E x p o s ito r's Bible

ExpTim - - Expository Times

FC — Fathers o f the Church. Washington, D .C ., 194 7 ff.

FRLANT — Forschunqen zur R e lig ion und L i t e r a t u r des Alten and


Neuen Testaments

FZB — Forschunq zur Bibel

GHK - - G o ttin q e r Handkommentar zum Alten Testament

GKC — Gesenius1 Hebrew Grammar. Edited by E.Kautzsch and


T ranslated by A. E. Cowley. 2d ed. Oxford: Clarendon
Press, 1910.

HABS — H arper's Annotated B ib le Series

HAT - - Handbuch zum Alten Testament

HAWAT — Gesenius, W. and Buhl, Hebraisches und Aramaisches


Handworterbuch zum A lte n Testament. Gottingen:
S p r in g e r -V e r la g , 1949.

HDR — Harvard D is s e r ta tio n s in Relig ion

Herm - - Hermeneia

HKAT — Handkommentar zum A lten Testament

HNT - - Handbuch zum Neuen Testament

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HSM - - Harvard Semitic Monographs

HSSt — Harvard Semitic Studies

HTB — Harper Torchbook

HTR - - Harvard Theological Review

HTS — Harvard Theological Studies

HUCA — Hebrew Union College Annual

HZ — H is torisc he Z e i t s c h r i f t

ICC - - In te r n a t io n a l C r i t i c a l Commentary

IDB — I n t e r p r e t e r 's D ic tio n a r y o f the B i b l e . Edited


by George A. B u t t r i c k . 4 v o ls . N a s h v ille :
Abingdon Press, 1962.

IDBSup — I n t e r p r e t e r 's D ic tio n a r y o f the B ib le . Supplementary


Volume. Edited by Keith Crim. N a s h v ille : Abingdon
Press, 1976.

IEJ — Is ra e l E xp lo ra tio n Journal

I n t — In t e r p r e t a t io n

IRAQ - - B r i t i s h School o f Archaeology

1st Schr — Is ta n b u le r S c h r ift e n

JAOS - - Journal o f the American O r ie n ta l Society

JBL — Journal of B ib lic a l L ite ra tu re

JBL.MS — Journal of B ib lic a l L i t e r a t u r e Monograph Series

JBR — The Journal o f B ib le and R e lig io n

JCS — Journal o f Cuneiform Studies

JETS — Journal o f the E vangelical Theological S ociety

JewEnc - - The Jewish Encyclopedia. Edited by I . Singer. New


York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1901-1906.

JLCR — Jordan Lectures in Comparative R elig ion

JNES — Journal of Near Eastern Studies

JPQS — The Journal o f the P a le s tin e O rie n ta l Society

xi

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JQR — Jewish Q u a rte r ly Review

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NASV — New American Standard Version

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Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1962.

xi i

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NIDNTT — Brown, C o lin . The New I n t e r n a t io n a l D ic tio n a ry o f
the New Testament Theology. E x e te r: Pasternoster
Press, 1975.

NIV - - New I n te r n a t io n a l Version

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Tran sla tio n o f the Holy S c r ip tu re s .

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NovT — Novum Testamentum

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QDCC— Cross, F. L . , and Livin g s to n e , E. A. The Oxford


D ic tio n a ry o f the C h ris tia n Church. 2d ed. London:
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OLZ — O r i e n t a l i s t is c h e L i t t e r a t u r z e i t u n q

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PCB — Black, Matthew, and Rowley, Harold H ., eds. Peake' s


Commentary on the B ib le . London: Nelson, 1962.

PEQ — P alestine E x p lo ra tio n Q u a r t e r ly

PGM — P atro lo q ia q ra e c a , Migne, ed.

PIASH — Proceedings o f the Is ra e l Academy o f Sciences and


Humanities

PL - - Paradise Lost

PLM - - P atrolo qia l a t i n a , Migne, ed.

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aus Gebiet der Theologie und Reliqonsqeschichte

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TDNT — Theological D ic tio n a r y o f the New Testament. E dite d by


F. G. K i t t e l . Translated by G. W. Bromiley. Grand
Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1 9 6 4 ff.

TDOT — Theological D ic tio n a r y o f the Old Testament. E d ite d by


G. Johannes Botterweck and Helmer Ringgren. T ra n s la te d
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Textus — Textus. Annual o f the Hebrew U n iv e rs ity

THAT — T'neoiogisches Hanaworterbuch zum Alien Testament.


Edited by Ernst Jenni and Claus Westermann. Munich:
Kaiser, 1971.

ThZ — Theologische Z e i t s c h r i f t

TLZ — Theologische L i t e r a r z e i t u n g

TOTC — Tyndale Old Testament Commentary

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TTL — Theological T ra n s la tio n L ib r a r y

TTS — T r i e r e r Theologische Studien

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by G. J. Botterweck and H. Ringgren. S t u t t g a r t :
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TynB — Tyndale B u l l e t i n

UF — Ugari t-Forschungen

UH — U g a r itic Handbook, C. H. Gordon.

UL — U g a r itic L i t e r a t u r e , C. H. Gordon.

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WC — Westminster Commentaries

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Ori e n t-G e s e l1schaft

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

No l i s t , o f course, can exhaust a w r i t e r ' s indebtedness,

but some in d iv id u a ls must be remembered.

I wish to thank the South American D iv is io n and B ra z il

College f o r f i n a n c i a l support during my study.

I am p a r t i c u l a r l y g ra te fu l to Dr. W illia m H. Shea, chairman

o f my committee, whose d ir e c tio n and copious comments were a must

in my research. My thanks are also given to Drs. Gerhard F. Hasel

and Lawrence T. G eraty whose suggestions have enriched th is

di s s e r t a t i o n .

I am v ery much indebted to f o u r la d ie s : Dr. Leona G. Running,

who read and c o rre c te d the manuscript; Joyce Jones who e d ite d the

m a t e r ia l; Joyce Campbell who went through the pa in fu l experience

of typing the d i s s e r t a t i o n ; and over and above a l l , the most special

lad y, my w ife Nancy, who can never be thanked enough.

xv i i

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CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION

The way we fa c e , i n t e r p r e t , and understand the m atter of the

o r ig in o f e v i l — and i t s im p lic a tio n s — in the S crip tu re s a ffe c ts and

determines in great measure the outcome o f our exegesis of many

b ib lic a l passages.

Depending on the view we take in the m a tte r , our theological

understanding o f the main basic doctrines o f the Bible varie s from

one extreme to the other in the spectrum o f b i b l i c a l theology.

I t is im porta nt, th e r e f o r e , th a t we should c a r e f u l l y study

those passages in the S c r ip tu re s , the understanding of which should

enable us to a r r iv e a t a sound comprehension o f th a t aspect of Bible

tru th .

I t is well e s ta b lis h e d in Scripture^ t h a t there is a struggle

between the forces o f good ano forces of e v i l going on in the uni­

verse which transcends the p a r t i c u l a r a f f a i r s among the in h a b itan ts

of th is world.
2
In the s c h o la rly w orld, tiiis s tr u g g le is known as "the

c o n f l i c t between cosmos and chaos" and can be perceived from the

] C f. Gen 3 :6 ; Job 1, 2; 2 6 :1 2 -1 3 ; Ps 82; Zech 3 :1 -3 ;


Matt 4 (and p a r a l l e l s ) .
?
H. Gunkel, Scnopfunq und Chaos in U r z e i t und Endzeit
(G ottin g en : '/andenhoeck und Ruprecht, 1 8 9 5 ); J. Gray, "The Hebrew
Conception ^ f the Kingship o f God: I t s O r ig in and Development," VT
5 (1 9 5 6 ):2 6 8 - 8 5 .

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2

beginning to the end o f the S c rip tu re s , from Genesis to R evelation.

The B ib le r e f le c t s the presence o f a kind of disorder which is

r e s i s t e d by God and those who are on His s id e. And i t seems that

the plan of s a lv a tio n i t s e l f is God's answer to overcome such d is ­

a r r a y o f the u n iv e rs e 's ord e r, the r e s u l t o f which would be the

r e s t o r a t i o n of p e r f e c t harmony planned by the r u l e r of the universe.

When, according to the Genesis record, God created th is world

and set Adam and Eve in the Garden o f Eden, He did i t p e r f e c t ly . ^

God had created the world as a harmonious whole; but when the f i r s t

couple disobeyed God, something extraneous or outside o f God's

c r e a tio n of th is world came in . Childs a ffir m s th a t Gen 2 can be

understood as an a n t i t h e s i s of chap. 3, "wholeness versus fr a g T


2
m enta tio n ; tr u s t versus suspicion; f a i t h versus u n b e l ie f . "

I t seems t h a t the seed o f d is o r d e r or disharmony was already

p re se n t even before the f a l l of Adam and Eve; i t transcended the

a f f a i r s o f our own world. The S c rip tu re s o f f e r i m p l i c i t and e x p l i c i t

in fo rm a tio n about t h i s struggle which develops i t s e l f in t h i s world,

but whose seed came before the world and transcends the a f f a i r s of

t h i s w o r ld .-' This cosmic war appears as a theme in such books of

the B ible as Job, Habakkuk, e tc .

Despite the inform ation we can obtain about the s truggle

between these opposing powers and the presence of e v i l in our world

which came through the disobedience o f our f i r s t p a ren ts, nothing

] Gen 1 :1 0 , 12, 18, 21, 25, 31 .

^B. S. C h ild s , Myth and R e a li t y in the Old Testament


( N a p e r v i l l e , IL: Alec R. Allenson, 1 9 6 0 ), p. 47.

^Gen 3; Job I , 2; Zech 3; e t c .

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3

is e x p l i c i t l y said in the OT about the o r i g i n of e v il in God's

u n iv ers e .

However, we have in the Bible two very in t e r e s t in g passages—

Isa 1 4 :4b-23 and Ezek 2 8 :1 -1 9 — which have provoked several i n t e r ­

p r e t a t io n s . Among these is one which holds th a t the passages speak

about the o rig in o f sin in heaven.'

Since the OT does not e x p l i c i t l y e xplain why and how e v i l

o r ig in a t e d before the events occurred in the Garden o f Eden, and

since the two poems concerning Babylon and Tyre are among the few

t e x ts which a number o f theologians have used to explain the o rig in

of e v il in the u n iv e rs e , i t is w orthwhile to pursue a d e t a il e d

e x e g e tic a l and th e o lo g ic a l examination o f the passages. Such an

examination should take in to account the immediate and the la r g e r

b i b l i c a l context o f the m a te ria l th a t bears upon th is i n t e r p r e ­

t a t i o n and of other r e la t e d passages.

I t is proposed he re, t h e r e fo r e , th a t we in v e s tig a te the

h i s t o r i c a l and th e o lo g ic a l contents o f Isa 1 4 :4b-23 ( e s p e c i a l l y

vss. 12-15) and Ezek 2 8 :1 -1 9 . This study also includes a com­

p a r a t iv e study of the two passages. The reason fo r choosing to

examine these two passages together seems obvious, fo r through­

out the centuries they have been i d e n t i f i e d as being r e la te d to each

oth e r in t h e i r language, nature, and c ontent. This study also

intends to demonstrate t h a t these two p a r t i c u l a r passages comple­

ment each other in a possible i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the main f ig u r e to

which they r e f e r .

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4

A Survey o f the L i t e r a t u r e on the


I n t e r p r e t a t io n o f Is a ia h 14

Apocrypha and Pseudepiqrapha

Probably the f i r s t attempts to i n t e r p r e t Isa 14:12-15^ are

found in the pseudepigraphical works r e l a t i n g to the OT. In one of

the s e, The L ife o f Adam and Eve, the d e v il is quoted as saying:

"I w ill set my seat above the stars o f heaven, and w i l l be l i k e the
2
h i g h e s t . 11 Since t h i s statement obviously is derived from Isa 14:

1 3 -1 4 , i t in d ica te s t h a t the author o f t h i s work probably in te r p r e t e d

the passage in such a way as to apply i t to the d e v i l . A s im ila r

idea is r e fe rre d to in Slavonic Enoch, a pseudepigraphical work

c u r r e n t ly dated in the second century A.D.

One from out the o rd e r of angels, having turned away w ith


the order th a t was under him, conceived an impossible thought,
to place his throne higher than the clouds above the e a r t h ,
t h a t he might become equal in rank to my power. And I threw
him out from the h e ig h t with his a n g e ls , and he was f l y i n g
in the a i r contin u o u s ly above the b o tto m le s s .3

Although we are going tc deal w ith the whole song (v s s . 4b-


2 3 ) , in searching the h i s t o r y of the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the passage,
we are more concerned w ith the a u th o r's understanding and i n t e r p r e ­
t a t i o n o f vss. 12-15.

^V ita Adae e t Evae 15.3 [c A.D. 1 0 0 -c . 200], in R. H. Charles,


APQT 2 :137. J u lia n Morgenstern ("The Mythological Background o f
Psalm 8 2 ," HUCA 14 [ 1 9 3 9 ] : i 0 9 ) , besides ad m ittin g th a t the author of
The L i f e o f Adam and Eve could have copied the expression l i t e r a l l y
from Isa 14:13, th in k s the more probable was th a t "the wording of
th i s statement was used in the version o f the myth s t i l l p o p u la rly
c u rre n t in oral form a t the time o f composition of the book." In
the Apocalyptic book o f Sybyline Oracles [ c . A.D. 7 0 ] , a re ference
is made concerning a b a t t l e o f the s ta rs (which Charles [ APQT 2:373]
thinks is in the f u t u r e where i t is said t h a t "L u c ife r waged b a t t l e
. . . the might o f doughty L u c ife r burned up Aquarius. Heaven i t s e l f
was s t i r r e d t i l l i t shook the w a r r io r s , and in anger c as t them head­
long to the earth" Sib o r 5:515, 527-29 (C h a rle s , APQT 2 : 4 0 6 ) .

^Slavonic Enoch 29. 4-5 [c . A.D. 2nd Cent.] (C h a r le s , APQT


2 :4 4 7 ).

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5

Although we cannot say f o r c e rta in the w r i t e r of 1 Enoch is quoting

from or commenting on the Is a ia n ic passage, he seems to have had i t

in the back o f his mind in the two references to th is same id e a :

And I saw, and behold a s ta r f e l l from heaven. . . . And


again I saw in the v is io n , and looked towards the heaven, and
behold I saw many s ta rs descend and c ast themselves down from
heaven to t h a t f i r s t s t a r J

And I saw one o f those four who had come fo r th f i r s t , and


he seized th a t f i r s t s ta r which had f a l l e n from heaven, and
bound i t hand and fo o t and cast i t in to an abyss: Now th a t
abyss was narrow and deep, and h o r r i b l e and d a r k . 2

Jewish I n t e r p r e t e r s

The Jews in the Talmudic period'3 in te r p r e te d the I s a ia n ic

passage as having to do w ith immediate h i s t o r i c a l events in which


4
Nebuchadnezzar was i d e n t i f i e d as the "Oppressor." In the Midrash

Rabbah t h i s passage is applied to th a t same king.^

] 1 Enoch 8 6 . 1 - 3 (C harles, APQT 2 : 2 5 0 ) .

^ I b i d . , 88.1 (C h arle s, APQT, 2 : 2 5 1 ) . George W. E. N ic ke ls-


burg, J r . ( R e s u rre c tio n , Im m o rta lity , and Eternal L ife in In te r e s ta -
mental Judaism, HTS 26 [Cambridge: Harvard U n iv e rs ity P ress, 1972J ,
p. 79) thinks the account o f Antiochus’ (Epiphanes) death (2 Macc.
9 . 7 f f . ) was influenced by the language o f Isa 14.

^From the t h i r d century to the f i f t h century A.D.

4Shab. 149b; Pes. 94a, 94b; Hag. 13a; Huh 89a.

^See M id r . Gen 36:33; Mi d r . Exod 7 :1 ; 12:2, where i t i n t e r ­


prets Isa 14:12 as saying th a t Nebuchadnezzar used to worship the sun;
Exod 1 4 :1 5 ; Mi d r . Lev 16:1 f f . , where Isa 14:13 is applie d to Nebuchad­
nezzar before his sickness, and vs. 17 is applied w ith re fe re n c e to
Evil-M erodach, who was set in Nebuchadnezzar's place during Nebuchad­
n e z z a r's years o f sickness, and was l a t e r confined in priso n a f t e r
the s e n io r k in g 's h e a lin g ; "and whoever," says the commentary,
"entered prison in his days never came o u t , as i t is said 'He opened
not the house o f his p r i s o n e r s '. " See a ls o Midjr. Sum 2 2 : 2 ; Mi d r .
Esth 1 : 1 , which comments on Isa 14:22 a f f i r m i n g th a t "'name' re fe rs
to Nebuchadnezzar; 'remnant' r e fe rs to Evil-Merodach; 'o f f s h o o t '
r e f e r s to Belshazzar; and 'o f f s p r i n g ' r e f e r s to V a s h ti. Another
e x p la n a tio n : 'Name' r e fe rs to t h e i r S c r i p t ; 'remnant' r e f e r s to t h e i r
language; 'o f fs h o o t' and 'o f f s p r i n g ' r e f e r to son and grandson

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6

Church Fathers

Origen (c. A.D. 185-c. 254) applied the passage to Satar,

emphasizing th a t he had been in heaven a t one tim e , b^t had f a l l e n

and had his g lo ry turned into d u s t. He connects Luke 10:18 with the

Isaian passage.^ Origen is one o f the f i r s t to i n t e r p r e t th is

passage in r e l a t i o n to Ezek 28. T e rtu llia n (c . A.D. 160-c. 225)

espoused the same view as Origen and said th a t the t e x t re fe rre d

to the one "who has raised up c h ild re n of disobedience against the

C reator H im s elf."^

From the beginning o f the t h i r d century, the Church Fathers

in te r p r e t e d the Isaian passage in two d i f f e r e n t ways:

1. Applied to Satan. Among those who follow ed the view o f

O rig in and T e r t u l l i a n are Cyprian (c . A.D. 2 00-c. 258),"* Gregory

Thaumaturges (c . A.D. 205-c. 2 6 5 ) , 4 Gregory Nazianzen (c . A.D. 329—

c. 390),"* Gregory o f Nyssa (c . A.D. 331-c. 400),** Jerome (c . A.D.

(Evil-Merodach and B e ls h a zz a r)." Mi d r . Cant 2 :1 2 ; 3 : 1 - 3 ; commenting


on Cant 8 : 1 4 , i t is said th a t "the Holy One, blessed be He, does not
punish a na tio n on earth t i l l He has cast down i t s guardian angel
from heaven. This is borne out by f i v e s c r ip t u r a l verses" (verses
c ite d : Isa 24:21; Isa 14:12; Isa 34:5; Ps 149:8; Ps 1 4 9 :9 );
Midr. Lam 1:4.

'Oriqen De P r in c i p i i s 1 .5 .5 (ANF, 4 : 2 5 9 ) ; Aqainst Celsus


6 .4 3 (ANF, 4 :5 9 3 T

^L. T e r t u l l i a n Aqainst M arcion, 5 .1 1 , 17 (ANF, 3:454, 4 66).

^Cyprian E p is tie s 54:3; T re atis e s 1 2 .3 .1 1 8 (ANF, 5:339, 5 5 6 ).

^Gregory Thaumaturgus Second Homily (ANF, 6 : 6 4 ) .

G r e g o r y Nazianzen O ratio n on the Theophany 3 8.9 (NPNF,


2nd s er. 7 :3 4 7 ).

^Gregory o f Nyssa Cantica Canticorum Homiliae 5:14 ( PGM


44:88 1 , 1081); C h r is ti Resurrectiorem Qrat 1 (MPG, 4 6 :6 0 8 ).

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7

342-420).^ Prudentius (c . A.D. 3 48-420?).^ In singing in his poems

about the o r ig in of sin and the f a l l o f the angels, Prudentius used

the thought o f Isa 14. In his i n t e r e s t in g comments on "the S p i r i t

of P r id e ," John Cassian (c . A.D. 360-c. 448) i d e n t i f i e s the fig u r e

of vss. 13-14 as Satan and equates him w ith the serpent which

deceived Adam and Eve."* From Augustine (A.D. 354-430)4 to Gregory

Jerome Aqainst Pelagians 3 .1 4 ; Aqainst Jovinianus 2 .4 ;


L e t t e r s , 2 2 .4 ; 133.1 (NPNF, 2nd ser. 6 :2 7 2 , 391 , 480). Commentario­
rum in Isaiam Prophetam, 5 .1 4 .1 2 -1 4 ; 6 .1 4 .1 2 ( PLM, 2 4 :1 6 1 -6 2 ; 219-20);
The L i f e of S t. Hi l a r i an of Gaza 4, in the Fathers of the Church,
ed. P.oy J. D e fe r r a r i (Washington, D .C .: Fathers of the Church,
1952), 15:248; Homilies 14, 41, in The Fathers of the Church, 48:107.
2
'The author o f i n i q u i t y is not God.
In mind o f f a l l e n ar.gel sin was bred,
Of one th a t l i k e a mighty s t a r once shone ( c f . Isa 14:12)
And w ith created splendor b r i g h t l y burned.
A ll things created are from nothing made;
Not so is God, tru e Wisdom, and Holy S p i r i t ,
The l i v i n g T r i n i t y th a t ever was,
3ut even angel m in is te rs He made.
One from t h e i r number, f a i r o f countenance,
Fierce in his might and by his strength puffed up,
Upraised h im s e lf w ith overweening pride ( c f . Isa 14:13-14)
And o f his brightness made a bold d is p la y ,
T i l l he persuaded some he was begot
Of his own power, and being from him self
Had drawn, to no c re a to r owing b i r t h . "
Prudentius Poems, v o l . 2, tr a n s . M. Clement Eagan, in FaCh 52:50.
Prudentius is r e f u t i n g a Manichaean heresy about the o r i g i n o f Satan.

^John Cassian I n s t i t u t e s 12.4 (NPNF, 2nd ser. 1 1 :2 8 0 -8 1 );


Conferences 5 .7 ; 8 .2 5 (NPNF, 2nd ser. 1 1:342, 386).

4Auqustine The Confessions 1 0 .3 6 .5 3 (NPNF, 1st s e r. 1 :1 5 9 );


The C ity of God 11:15 (NPNF, 1st ser. 2 :2 1 3 -1 4 ); Homilies on the
Gospel o f St. John 3 .1 7 ; 1 7 .5 .1 6 (NPNF, 1st ser. 7 :2 1 , 116) Exposi­
tio n on the Psalms 3 6 .1 5 ; 4 8 .3 ; 89.12 (NPNF, 1st ser. 8 . 9 0 , 164-65;
432-33; Augustine maintained th a t Satan f e l l through p r i d e , and Isa
14 and Ezek 28 were used to support his view. Martin de Braga
W ritin g s o f Martin de Braga, in FaCh 6 2 :4 5 , 46. A urelius
Cassiodorius [c . A.D. 468- ] E xpo sitio Psalmorum (CCL, 97:35 2 ,
426, 535; 9 8:784, 806, 1113); Primasius [A.D. 6th C e n t.] Com-
mentariorum Super Apocalypsim L ib r i 5 .9 (PLS, 4 :1 2 1 3 ).

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8

the Great (c . A.D. 5 9 0 -6 0 4 )^ most o f the church fa th e r s followed

the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f Isa 14:12-15 as r e f e r r i n g to the d e v i l . As

had happened to Prudentius, several poets from the f i f t h century on

were influenced by the e a r l i e r i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f Isa 14 and Ezek 28

in connection w ith Rev 12. In t h e i r compositions they sang Satan’ s


?
fa ll from heaven in p e c u lia r ways.

2. Applied to immediate h i s t o r i c a l c o n te x t. The Syrian

f a th e r Aphrahat (c . A.D. 220-c. 350)^ and Chromatius A q u ile ie n s is

(A.D. 4th c e n t u r y ) 4 applied the words of Isa 14:13 simply in an

immediate h i s t o r i c a l sense and a t t r i b u t e d them to Nebuchadnezzar.

Chrysostom (c . A.D. 347-407) says they r e f e r to a "barbarian king"

and r e la t e s them to Ezek 28.^ Hippolytus (c . A.D. 1 70-c. 236)

r e la te d th is passage to the A n t i c h r i s t and saw i t as d e p ic tin g an

event to happen in the f u t u r e . He quotes Ezek 28 side by side with

Isa 1 4 . 6

Gregory the Great Book o f Pastoral Rule 2 .4 (NPNF, 2nd ser.


1 2 : 1 4 -1 5 ); E p is tle s 18, 21 (NPNF, 2nd s er. 12:166, 1 7 2 ); Gregory
says t h a t S atan's f i r s t war was provoked because o f his pride (he
quotes Isa 1 4 ) , and connects Rev 12:7-9 as r e f e r r i n g to the same
event. XL Homiliarum in Evangelia 2.34 (MPL, 7 6 :1 2 5 1 ).

^Claudius Marius V ic to r iu s [A.D. 5th c e n t . ] A le th ia (CCL,


1 2 8 :1 2 7 ); Dracontius Carmen Deo (MPL, 6 0 :8 0 8 -0 9 ). There were times
in the epoch c f the Church Fathers and in the Middle Ages when the
subject o f Satan and his war in heaven was not discussed so much in
th e o lo g ic a l t r e a t i s e s a-s i t was sung in poetry.

^Aphrahat Demonstrations 5 .4 (NPNF, 2nd s e r. 1 3 :3 5 3 ).

4Chromatius A q u ile ie n s is Tractatus 50 ( CCL, 9 a : 445).

^Chrysostom Homilies on the Statues 11.4 (NPNF, 1st ser.


9 :4 1 4 ).

^Hippolytus T re a tis e on C h ris t and A n t i c h r i s t 53 (ANF,


5 :2 1 5 ).

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9

Middle Ages

Throughout the Middle Ages several w r i t e r s such as Walafridus

Strabus (c . A.D. 808-849)^ and Haymo (A.D. 9th c e n t . a p p l i e d the

passage to the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar and to Satan. Others

adhered to the t r a d i t i o n a l view o f the f a t h e r s .^ Peter Lombard

(1100-1160) contended th a t L u c ife r was the most eminent o f a l l angels.

When Satan became proud, he decided to make h im s e lf equal with God,

and God cast him down from heaven. The a n g e l's pretentions and f a l l
4
are c it e d from Isa 14 and Ezek 28.

Albertus Magnus (1 2 0 5 -1 2 8 0 ), who r e l i e d much upon Lombard’ s

w r i t i n g s , saw L u c ife r (Is a 14:12) as the p r in c ip a l angel who led

the r e v o l t and a t t r a c t e d a larg e number o f o th e r angels to his cause.

L u c i f e r 's sin was th a t o f d e s ir in g e q u a l i t y w ith God. Pride which

proceeded from envy was the d e v i l ' s f i r s t s in .^

'W ala frid u s Strabus, Glossa Q r d i n a r i a - 1 ib e r Isaiae Prophetae,


1 4 . 5 f f . (PLM 1 13:1253).
2
Haymo, Commentariurum in Isaiam , 214 (MPL, 1 16 :790-93).

^Ambrosius Antpertus Tc. A.D. 710-784] Expositious in Apoca-


ly p ts ir. 2 . 2 . 2 4 ; 3 .5 .1 b ; 4 . 8 . 8 - 0 ; 4 . 9 . 1 2 b -13; 9 : 2 0 .8 (CCL, 27:149,
244, 334-56; i b i d . , 27A: 7 6 0 ). Rupert o f Deutz [c . A.D. 1075-c. 1129]
Commentariorum Appealypsim Joannis Apostoli 7 .1 2 (MPL, 169:1051-
1055); De V i c t o r i a Verbi Dei 1 .1 -3 0 (MPL, 1 69 :1 2 17 -1 2 43 ); where the
w r-'ter makes Rev 12 the basis f o r his prose epic on Satan's war
a gains t God, besides Isa 14 and Ezek 28 which are used e x te n s iv e ly
in the p re s e n ta tio n . Herveus Burgidolensis Monachus [12th c e n t .]
Commentariorum in Isaiam 2 .1 4 (MPL, 1 8 1 :1 6 4 -6 6 ); S aint Bernard
[1090-1153] Sermons on Songs o f Songs x v i i . 5 (MPL, 183-857, 1113,
'
i i
7 Aft \
.
4P e te r Lombard Four Books o f Sentences 2 .2 - 6 (MPL, 192:
1031-1035).

^Albertus Magnus Summae Theoloqie 2.21-31 (B a s ile e : Jacobi


de P fo rtzh e im , 1 5 0 7 ), quoted by Edward Langton, Satan, A P o r t r a i t
(London: S k e ffin g to n & Son, 1 9 4 7 ), p. 69.

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10

Although he does not e x p l i c i t l y quote the thought o f Isa

1 4 :1 2 -1 5 , the I t a l i a n poet and theologian Dante A l i g h i e r i (1265-

1321) makas use o f i t in describing the acts of L u c ife r , whom he

i n t e r p r e t s as being S a ta n .1

The most important and i n f l u e n t i a l sch o la s tic theologian and

philosopher o f the C a th o lic Church, Thomas Aquinas (c. A.D. 1225-


2
1 2 7 4 ), and the s o -c a lle d "Morning S tar o f the Reformation," John

W y c l i f f (c . A.D. 1330 -1 38 4 ),^ shared the Church Fathers' view,

seeing in the passage the acts o f the f a l l e n angel from heaven.

From the Reformation to the


nine te enth Century

Although Caspar Schwenckfeld (1490-1561)^ maintained the

t r a d i t i o n a l view o f the F a th e rs, the two g re a t reformers M a rtin

Luther (1483-1546) and John Calvin (1509-1564) broke w ith the

tra d itio n a l i n t e r p r e t a t io n held by the fa th e r s and scholars in the

Middle Ages. Luther a ffirm e d th a t " th is (1 4 :1 2 ) is not said o f the

angel who once was thrown out o f heaven (Luke 10:18; Rev 1 2 : 7 - 8 )

Dante A l i g h i e r i , "P aradiso," 1 9 .4 6 -5 7 ; 2 7 .2 2-32 ; 2 9 .5 5 -6 6 ;


in Divine Comedy, tra n s . and comm. Charles S. S in g le to n , 3 v o ls .
B ollingen Series 80 (P rin ce to n : U n iv e r s ity Press, 1 975), 2 :2 1 1 , 303,
327; " In fe r n o ," 31.1 42 -1 4 5; 3 4 .1 21 -3 9 . I b i d . , 1:337, 369. Dante
makes use o f his p o e tic imagination saying th a t Satan should f a l l to
e a r th a t a point d i r e c t l y antipodal to Jerusalem.
2
Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theoloqica, 3 v o ls. (New York:
3en zig e r Brothers, 1 9 4 7 ), 1 :3 14 -1 7 .

^John W y c l i f f , "Sermon 19," in John W y c l i f f 's L a tin Works,


ed. Johann Loserth (London: W y c li f f S o c ie ty , 1883-1907), 7 :4 7 5 ;
"De A n t i c h r i s t , " i b i d . , 15:204.

^Caspar Schwenckfeld, "Exposition o f Ezekiel 17, G a la tia n s


5 : 5 , and Hebrews 3 :1 4 ," L e tte r s and T re a tis e s o f Caspar Schwenckfeld
von Qssiqn— 1552-1 554, in Corpus Schwenckfeldianorum, 14 v o l s . , ed.
E lls w o rth Schultz (L e ip z ig : B re itk o p f E. H a r t e l , 1 93 5 ), 1 3:34 .

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11

but of the King o f Babylon, and i t is f i g u r a t i v e language."^ Calvin

repudiated the a p p lic a tio n o f the passage to Satan and in te r p r e t e d

i t t o t a l l y in h i s t o r i c a l terms:

The e x p o s itio n o f th is passage, which some have g iv e n , as


i f i t r e f e r r e d to Satan, has arisen from ignorance; f o r the
context p l a i n l y shows th a t these statements must be understood
in reference to the king o f the Babylonians. But when passages
of S c rip tu re are taken up a t random, and no a t t e n t i o n is paid
to the c o n te x t, we need not wonder th a t mistakes o f t h i s kind
fr e q u e n tly a r i s e . Yet i t was an instance o f very gross
ignorance, to imagine th a t L u c ife r was the king of d e v i l s ,
and th a t the Prophet gave him th is name. But as these
inventions have no p r o b a b i l i t y whatever, l e t us pass by them
as useless f a b l e s . 2

In his commentary on Is a ia h , Calvin i d e n t i f i e d the fi g u r e of

Isa 14 as Nebuchadnezzar,^ while in his commentary on Psalms he


4
i d e n t i f i e d him as Sennacherib, and since C alvin was the f i r s t to

see in the f i g u r e an Assyrian king, i t is a high p o in t in the h is to ry

o f the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f t h i s passage. P o st-re form ation theologians

such as Thomas Manton (1620-1677) followed the view o f Luther

on th is passage.5 J. L ig h tf o o t (1602-1675) a pplie d Isa 14:12 with

Luke 10:18 to S atan, s t a t in g in a d d itio n th a t “L u c i f e r f a l l i n g from

^Martin L u th e r, Lectures on Isaiah 1 -3 9 , in L u th e r 1s Works,


ed. J a r o s la v -P e lik a n (S t . Louis: Concordia Pub. House, 1 9 6 9 ), 16:140.
2
John C a l v i n , Commentary on the Book o f the Prophet I s a i a h ,
4 v o l s . , tr a n s . W illia m P r in g le (Grand Rapids: Eerdmanis, 1 94 8 ), 1:442.

^C a lvin , Commentary on I s a i a h , 1:443.

4John C a l v i n , Commentary on the Book o f Psalms, tr a n s . James


Anderson, 5 v o ls . (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1 9 4 9 ), 2:219.
5
Thomas Manton, E p is t le o f Jude, in Works o f Thomas Manton,
22 v ols. (W orthington, PA: Maranatha Pub., 1 970), 5 :1 9 1 -9 2 , says
th a t "the f a th e r s -usually quote Isa 14:12-13 to expla in the o r ig in
o f s in . But i t is but a metaphorical passage concerning the king
o f Babylon, and the ground o f the mistake was because the angels
are often in S c rip tu re s et fo r t h by s t a r s , as Job 3 8 : 7 ."

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12

heaven (v s . 12) is the King of Babylon, divested o f his throne and

dominion.

From the seventeenth century come two g re a t works of Puritan

lite ra tu re : John M ilto n 's Paradise Lost and John Bunyan's Holy
2
Mar. In i n t e r p r e t i n g and commenting on the Isa ia n t e x t , Bunyan

^John L i g h t f o o t , Hebrew and Talmudical E x e r c it a t io n s upon


St. Luke, in Whole Works, 13 v o l s . , ed. John R. Pitman (London:
J. F. Dove, 1 823), 12:92.

^John M i l t o n , Paradise L o s t, 1 .4 0 ; 5 .6 8 9, 7 1 5 -1 6 , 766 in


The Works o f John Mi 1to n , ed. Frank A. Patterson e t a l . (New York:
Columbia U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1 9 3 1 -3 8 ), 2 : 9 , 11, 168 -6 9 , 176. See also
A r e o p a q it ic a , 4 :3 5 3 ; Eikonoklastes 1 5 , 5:218. I t is very i n te r e s tin g
th a t M ilto n h im s e lf, in De Doctrina C h r is t ia n a , omits Isa 14 and Ezek
28 from the te x ts used to present Satan's c h ara c te r and h is to r y .
There is much dispute concerning the sources M ilton used to produce
his "War in Heaven" d e s c r ip tio n ; see Harris F. F l e t c h e r , Mi 1to n ' s
Semitic Studies (New York: Guardian Press, I n c . , 1 9 6 6 ), pp. 111-13;
and J. M. Evans, The Paradise Lost and the Genesis T r a d it io n (Oxford:
Clarendon Press, 1 9 6 8 ), pp. 34-36 , 8 6 -9 9 , 219-22. For the view th a t
M ilto n 's m a te ria l came to him not from Hebraic or o th e r Semitic books
or m anuscripts. On the view th a t the basis f o r his p i c t u r e of the
war in heaven is the Bible and not the w r itin g s o f the poets of the
past, see Austin Dobbins, M ilto n and the Book o f R e v e la tio n : The
Heavenly Cycle (Tuscaloosa, AL: U n iv e r s ity o f Alabama Press, 1975),
pp. 2 6-52. M ilton presents "envy" as Satan's f i r s t s in ; t h i s was also
the view o f the author of the apocryphal book o f Wisdom o f Solomon
( 2 . 2 4 ) ; o f the Pseudepigraphical Book o f Adam and Eve (1 3 -1 6 , Charles
2 :1 3 7 ); and of Lactantius [ c . A.D. 260-330] ( The PivTne I n s t i t u t e s ,
2 . 9 ; 4 .6 [ANF 7 :5 2 -5 3 ; 1 0 5 ] ) . For comments on the sin o f Satan, from
the seventeenth century on, see S. P Revard, The War in Heaven
( Ith a c a : Cornell U n iv e r s ity Press. 1 980), pp. 7 0-85 .
John Bunyan, Holy War, in Complete Works o f John Bunyan, ed.
John G u l l i v e r (P h ila d e lp h ia : B ra d ley , Garretson & C o ., 1873), p. 371,
depicts in a very im aginative and metaphorical way the struggle th a t
has been going on between man and the enemy o f the s o u l, and u11 i - '
mately between God and the d e v i l . In his d e s c r ip tio n Bunyan says th a t
"This Diabolus is indeed a grand and mighty p r in c e , and yet both
poor and beggarly. As to his o r i g i n a l , he was a t f i r s t one o f the
servants o f King Shaddai, made, and taken, and put by him into most
high and mighty place; yea, was put in to such p r i n c i p a l i t i e s as
belonged to the best o f his t e r r i t o r i e s and dominions. This
Diabolus was made son o f the morning, and a brave place he had
o f i t ; i t brought him much g lo r y and gave him much brightness, an
income th a t might have contented his L u c ife ria n h e a r t , had i t not
bee;, in s a t ia b le and enlarged as h e ll i t s e l f . " (p . 371)
This is w ith o u t doubt an i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f Isa 1 4 :1 2 -1 5 as applied to
Satan.

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and M ilto n used what scholars c a l l the "method of accommodation,"^

advocating th a t the passage r e fe rr e d to Satan and his f a l l . Basing

t h e i r views on the OT passages o f Isa 14 and Ezek 28, along with

te x ts from the NT, m a te ria l o f Sem itic o r i g i n , in g e n e r a l, views

and comments o f the Church Fa the rs, and possibly some m a te ria ls from

the Renaissance, they enlarged the vis io n concerning L u c i f e r .

The American theologian and philosopher Jonathan Edwards

(1703-1758) in te r p re te d the passage under discussion as applying to

the King o f Babylon, but he did not provide a d e t a il e d i n t e r p r e t a t io n

of the t e x t . In preaching about e v i l angels John Wesley (1703-1791)

applie d Isa 14 to Satan: "There is no a b s u rd ity in supposing Satan

. . . s ty le d 'L u c i f e r Son o f the morning' to have been a t le a s t one

of the f i r s t , i f not the f i r s t a r c h a n g e l." ^


Bishop R. Lowth (1710-
4
1787), along w ith his p o e tic a n a ly s is of t h i s passage, in te r p r e te d

The "Theory of Accommodation" had i t s o r i g i n s in the f i r s t


c e n tu rie s o f our era and was f r e q u e n tly used by the i n t e l l e c t u a l s of
the Renaissance. I t was an attem pt to e x p la in some b i b l i c a l anthro-
pormophism, e s p e c ia lly t h a t o f the OT. Theologians such as St.
Augustine, Thoras Aquinas, and C alvin made use o f accommodation.
For q u otations and comments on the m a tte r, see Roland M. Frye, God,
Man and Satan (P rin ce to n : U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1 9 6 0 ), pp. 7-13;
C. A. P a t r id e s , "Paradise Lost and the Theory of Accommodation," in
B rig h t Essence, Studies in M i l t o n 's Theology, ed. W. B. Hunter
et a l . ( S a l t Lake C ity : U n i v e r s i t y of Utah Press, 1 9 7 1 ), pp. 159-63
Edward A. Dowey, J r . , The Knowledge o f God in C a l v i n 's Theology (New
York: Columbia U n iv e r s ity Press, 1 952), pp. 3 -1 7.
2
Jonathan Edwards, Freedom o f the W i l l , in Works o f Jonathan
Edwards, 6 v o l s . , ed. Paul Ramsey (New Haven: Yale U n i v e r s i t y Press,
1 95 7 ), 1 :402.

^John Wesley, "Sermon on E vil Angels," in Wesley's Works,


14 v o ls . (London: Wesleyan Methodist Book Room, 1831 ) , 6:372.
4
Robert Lowth, Lectures on the Sacred Poetry o f the Hebrews
(London: J. T. Buckingham, 1815 ( . f i r s t published in 1 7 5 3 ] ) , pp. i x ,
396, 397.

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14

i t as a prophecy f o r e t p l 1 in g the ■‘' a l l and d e s tru c tio n o f Babylon by

the Medes and P e rs ia n s J

In the nineteenth c entury some new developments occurred in

the study and i n t e r p r e t a t io n o f Isa 14. K e lly f o r example saw in

the Babylonian power depicted in Isa 14

. . . a type o f him who w i l l w ield im perial power a g a in s t the


g lo r y o f God in the l a s t days. . . . What we have in Isa ia h
fu rn is h e s the groundwork f o r th a t which meets us in the Reve­
la tio n . Thus the strong language in vss. 9-14 could sca rc ely
be said to have been exausted in Nebuchadnezzar or Belshazzar.
There was pride and s e l f - e x a l t a t i o n in the one, and most
degrading and profane lu x u ry in the o th e r; but what we have here
w i l l be f u l l y v e r i f i e d in the l a s t days and not before. A ft e r
ta k in g t h i s place o f power, the l o f t y one is to be abased as
no Babylonish monarch ever was h i s t o r i c a l l y . 2

K e lly was the e a r l i e s t commentator noted who c l e a r l y applied

the Is a ia n passage to the "Beast'' o f Revelation and i d e n t i f i e d

him as Rome and the papal power. Franz D e litzs c h remarked th a t

L u c i f e r , as a name given to the d e v i l , was derived from t h i s


passage, which the fa th e r s i n t e r p r e t e d , w ithout any w arrant
w hatever, as r e l a t i n g to the apostasy and punishment o f the
a n g e lic leaders. The a p p e l l a t i o n is a p e r f e c t l y a p p ro p ria te
one f o r the king o f Babel, on account o f the e a r l y date o f the

R. Lowth, Is a ia h : A T r a n s la tio n with P r e lim in a ry D is se r­


t a t i o n and Notes (London: Thomas Tegg & Son, 1 8 3 7 ), pp. 215-24.
Bishop Lowth dramatizes vss. 4-28 presenting several scenes which
d e p ic t the f a l l o f Babylon, o f the t y r a n t , his a r r i v a l a t the regions
o f the dead ones, e t c . , and gives his a p p re c ia tio n o f the poem in the
f o llo w in g words:
" I b e lie v e i t may with t r u t h be a ffir m e d , th a t there is no poem
o f i t s kind e x ta n t in any language, in which the s ubjec t is so
w ell l a i d out and so h a p p ily conducted, w ith such a richness of
in v e n t io n , w ith such v a r i e t y o f images, persons, and d i s t i n c t
a c t io n s , with such r a p i d i t y and ease of t r a n s i t i o n , in so small a
compass as in t h i s ode o f I s a ia h . For beauty o f d i s p o s i t i o n ,
strength o f c o lo u rin g , greatness o f sentiment, b r e v i t y , p e r s p ic u ity ,
and fo rc e o f expression, i t stands among a l l the monuments of
a n tiq u ity u n riv a lle d ." (p . 218)
2
An Exposition o f the Book o f Isaiah (1871) (M inneapolis:
Klock & Clock C h ris tia n P u b lis h e rs , 1979 [ R e p r i n t ] ) , pp. 165-66.

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Babylonian c u l t u r e , which reached back as f a r as the grey
t w i l i g h t o f primeval tim es, and also because o f i t s pre-
cominant a s t r o lo g ic a l c h a r a c t e r . 1

But he adds th a t

A re tro s p e c tiv e glance is now cast a t the s e l f - d e i f i c a t i o n


o f the king o f Babylon, in which he was the a n tity p e o f the
d e v il and the type o f a n t i c h r i s t (Dan. x i . 36; 2 Thess. i i . 4 ) ,
and which had met w ith i t s r e w a r d . 2

Although a l i t t l e confused in his a s s e rtio n , D e litz s c h seems to be

the f i r s t theologian to say th a t the h i s t o r i c a l fi g u r e t y p o l o g i c a l l y

r e la te d to the fig u r e o f Satan standing behind i t .

From the end o f the nineteenth century, theologians began

to see mythological elements in the passage. Thus, from th a t time

on, i n t e r p r e t a t io n o f the passage would in general be c l a s s i f i e d in

three main views: Satan View, H i s t o r ic a l View (which sometimes was

blended with the previous v ie w ), and Mythological View.

Satan View

From the end o f the nineteenth century on, when c r i t i c a l

methods f o r the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f the Bible were begun and

scholars had in hand more comparative m a te ria l w ith which to

i n t e r p r e t the OT, the Satan view has been held by very few theologians

In the 1930s Roberts re viv ed the Church Fathers' view— seing in


4
the passage the fig u r e o f Satan. Roberts also saw the overthrow

o f Babylon as necessary f o r the return o f Judah, but he believed

th a t i t was not only the c i t y the prophet had in view. He compared

' I s a i a h , pp. 3 11-12. ^ Ib id . , p. 312.

^ F v o n r o n c o r - v a t- i u p h i h t i r a l o y o n o f o c c n r h a c V a n d e r b u r g h ,

e t c . , did not see Satan behind Isa 14.


4
L. G. A. Roberts, Commentary on the Book o f the Prophet
Isa ia h (London: Covenant Pub. C o., 1931), pp. 39-41.

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16

i t to the m ystic-Babylon, the e c c l e s i a s t i c a l - p o l i t i c a l system

presented in the Book o f R e v e la tio n . Besides seeing in the passage

the f ig u r e o f Satan, Roberts a ffirm ed th a t “we can only a t t r i b u t e

th is language to the pope h im s e lf, impersonated by Satan, or to

the e ig h t heads o f the beast who may occupy his place and go into

p e r d itio n (2 Thess 2 :3 ; Rev 1 7:1 1 -1 8 ; 1 9 : 1 9 - 2 0 ) . 1,1 He also con­

nected the persecutor power o f Dan 10-12 and the f i g u r e in Ezek 28

w ith the Is a ia n ic passage.

Among those who have seen the f ig u r e o f Satan in the pas-


2 3 4
sage in th is century we may note: Fausset, C h a fe r, Iro n s id e ,

^ I b i d . , pp. 40-41.

^A. R. Fausset, "The Book of the Prophet I s a i a h ," in A Com­


mentary on the Old and New Testaments (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans,
1 9 4 5 ),3 :6 1 0 . Fausset th in k s the passage a p p lie s
"to the Babylonian king p r i m a r i l y , and a t the same time to
shadow f o r t h , through him, the g reat f i n a l enemy, the man of
sin o f S t. P aul, the A n t i- C h r i s t o f S t. John, and the l i t t l e
horn and blasphemous s e l f - w i l l e d king o f D a n ie l. He alone shall
f u l f i l l e x h a u s tiv e ly a l l the lineaments here giv en . . . . The
f a l l o f Babylon as a s e l f - i d o l i z i n g power, the type o f mystical
Babylon in the apocalypse (Rev 1 7 :4 , 5 ) , b e fore the providence
of God, is described in language drawn from the f a l l o f Satan
h im s e lf, the s p i r i t t h a t energized the heathen world-power, and
now energizes the apostate Church, and s h a ll h e r e a f t e r energize
the l a s t secular A n t i c h r i s t . Thus L u c ife r has n a t u r a l l y come
to be applied to Satan (Luke 10:18; Rev 1 2 : 8 , 9; Jude 6 ) . “
(p. 610)

\ . Sperry C h a fe r, Systematic Theology, 8 v o ls . (D a lla s :


D allas Seminary Press, 1 9 4 7 -4 8 ), 2 :4 4-50 .
a
H. A. Ir o n s id e , Expository Notes on the Prophet Isaiah
(New Jersey: Loiseaux B ro th ers , 1 952), pp. 8 8 - 9 2 , s ta te s th a t
" L u c ife r is a created angel o f the very highest order . . . th is
passage is h ig h ly p o e t i c a l , but describes in no u n certain terms
the o th e r d e s tru c tio n o f the l a s t great enemy o f I s r a e l in the day
of the Lord" (pp. 88, 9 0 ) .

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17

UngerJ P a p in i,^ N i c h o l , 3 A r c h e r,4 L ockyer,3 Feinberg.^

H is to ric a l View

In 1830 A. Jenour applied the passage h i s t o r i c a l l y to

Babylon and equated L u c ife r to “Venus, the b r i g h t e s t . . . s t a r in

the heavens."^ A few years l a t e r J. A. Alexander r e la te d the

M e r r i l l Unger, B i b l i c a l Demonolcqy (Wheaton, IL: Van Kampen


Press, 1 9 5 3 ), pp. 184-5. Unger sees in vss. 12-17 the e n t i r e care e r
o f Satan, from his primeval s ta te as L u c ife r t i l l his f a l l to the
depth o f the p i t (Rev 2 0 : 3 ) . He goes on saying th a t Satan was placed
in charge o f the earth when t h i s plane was o r i g i n a l l y crea te d , and i t
was then, says Unger, quoting G. S. Faber, t h a t he (Satan) said in his
h e a r t , " I w i l l ascend in to heaven . . ." ( I s a 1 4 : 1 3 -1 4 ). " E v id e n tly
f o r t h i s presumptuous a c t God pronounced judgment upon th is pre-
Adamite e a rth and i t became chaotic as described in Gen 1:2" (p . 1 8 4 ).

^Giovani P a p in i, The Devil (New York: E. P. Dutton, 1 9 5 4 ),


pp. 3 1-32. Papini makes the fo llo w in g i n t e r e s t i n g comment:
"The chapters in Is a ia s (1 3 -1 4 ) where these verses appear, have,
as t h e i r basic theme, the war between Good and Evil and th e r e fo r e
i t is by no means impossible th a t the Prince o f Evil him self is
sketched in i t a ls o . A ll the more so, since the kings o f Babylon,
l i k e o th e r kings o f the a ncie nt O r ie n t , b e lie v ed themselves— o r
passed themselves o f f as being— o f d iv in e o r i g i n , come from
heaven to reign d e s p o t i c a l ly over the e a r t h . So, in a c e r t a in
sense, they were, by v ir t u e o f t h e i r dual c la im , l i k e Satan,
'd ia b o lic '. The end o f one o f them could very well r e c a ll another
p r i d e , another f a l l , th a t of the Prince who used to trample and
who s t i l l tramples the nations under his f o o t . " (p. 32)

3" L u c ife r " [ I s a i a h 1 4 : 1 2 ] , SDABC, ed. Francis D. Nichol


(Washington, D .C .: Review and Herald Pub. A s s n ., 1953-1957), 4 :1 70 .
Here i t is c l e a r l y a ffirm e d th a t the passage " a p p lie s to Satan before
his f a l l , as next to C h r is t in power and a u t h o r i t y and head of the
a n g e lic hosts" (p. 1 70 ).

4G. L. Archer, " I s a i a h , " WBC (Chicago: Moody Press, 1 9 6 2 ),


pp. 621-22.

^Herbert Lockyer, A ll the Doctrines o f the B ible (Grand


Rapids: Zondervan Pub. House, 1 96 4 ), pp. 1 34-35.

^Charles L. Feinberg, The Prophecy o f Ezekiel (Chicago:


Moody Press, 1969), p. 163. For strong re a c tio n to these views,
see Robert L. Alden, " L u c i f e r , Who or What?" JETS 11 (1 9 6 8 ):3 5 -3 9 .
See also Meadors, pp. 4 6 -6 5 , f o r extensive discussion o f the Satan
view in r e l a t i o n to the Is a ia n ic passage.

^A. Jenour, The Book o f the Prophet Is a ia h I (London: R. B.


S eeley, 1 930), pp. 269-73.

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18

passage to the a n t i c h r i s t o f 2 Thess 2 :4 , as well a* to Ezek 28.

He also attempted to r e ta in the immediate h i s t o r i c a l a p p l ic a t i o n .

As C alvin had done before him, he challenged the t r a d i t i o n a l Church

Fathers' a p p lic a tio n to Satan, s t a t in g th a t from such an explanation

“has arisen the popular perversion o f the b e a u tifu l name L u c ife r to

s ig n if y the D e v i l . " 1 E. Henderson also opposed the t r a d i t i o n a l

view: "The scope and connexion then th a t none but the King of

Babylon is meant. . . . The a p p lic a t io n o f th is passage to Satan,

and to the f a l l of the apostate angels, is one of the gross per-


2
versions o f sacred w r i t . . . . "

C. W. E. Nagelsbach observed th a t “as e a r l y as the LXX,

t h is passage (vss. 12-15) seems to have been understood o f Satan.

I t points th a t way i f they change the second person in to the t h i r d ;

e tc ." 3 He in t e r p r e t e d the passage as r e f e r r i n g to

Babylon and i t s e x a l t a t i o n , but added, "The world-power is by i t s

very nature in im ic a l to God: i t s aim is to suppTant God and put

i t s e l f in His place. This tendency is in d w ellin g in the world-power

derived from i t s transcendental a u th o r, Satan, and is r e a liz e d in


4
every p a r t i c u l a r r e p r e s e n t a t i v e . " Ewald went astep f u r t h e r in
5
studying the l i t e r a r y s tr u c tu r e o f the poem but did not comment

much on the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n o f the f i g u r e , tr e a t i n g the passage as

1J. A. Alexander, Is a ia h (New York: Charles S c rib n e r's


Sons, 1 851), pp. 200-204.
2
E. Henderson, The Book o f the Prophet Is a ia h (London:
Hami1t o n , Adams Co. , 1 85 7 ), p. 132.

3C. W. E. Nagelsbach, The Prophet I s a i a h , CHSL, v o l. 11


(New York: Charles S c r i b n e r 's , 1 878), p. 190.

^ I b i d . , p. 188. 3See below, pp. 149-50.

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19

a prophetic utterance more concerned with Babylon than w ith an

in d iv id u a l. ‘

F. D e litzs c h a ffirm e d th a t the a p p lic a tio n o f the passage

to the apostasy o f the a n g e lic leader is without w a rra n t; but he

stated th a t the King o f Babylon in his s e l f - d e i f i c a t i o n was the

a n tity p e o f the devil and the type o f a n t i c h r i s t (Dan 11:36;

2 Thess 2 : 4 ) . He s t i l l emphasized the p r e d ic tiv e nature of the


2
te x t.

In his famous study on B i b l i c a l laments,^ C. Budde discussed

the s tru c tu r e and nature o f the passage, but he did not i n t e r p r e t

i t in s p e c ific terms; i t seems t h a t he accepted Lowth's view th a t

the song r e fe rs to the f a l l and death o f the King o f Babylon. 3.

Duhm a pplie d the passage to the immediate h i s t o r i c a l events a t the

end o f the Babylonian empire and also saw some mythic elements
4
in i t .

In 1896 Cobb made a study o f the p o e tic al s tru c tu re o f the

poem. He advocated th a t a re d ac to r inserted the word 7 2 2 7 in the

t e x t to apply i t to Babylon. From the d e l e t i o n , he held th a t

o r i g i n a l l y "the ode says nothing about a c i t y , but is a song o f

^Heinrich Ewald, The Prophet I s a i a h , tra n s . 0. Glover,


(London: Bell and Daldy, 1 8 6 9 ), pp. 158-62.

^F. D e lit z s c h , "The Prophecies o f Is a i a h ," BCOT, 1877


(Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1 9 4 9 ), pp. 311-13.

^C. Budae, "Das hebraisch K la g e lie d ," ZAW, 2 (1 8 8 2 ),


p. 14. His study's discussed in chapter 3 in r e l a t i o n to the
t : ■>p meter when we consider the s tru c tu re o f the passage.

^Bernhard Duhm, Das Buch J e s a ia , GHK (G o ttin gen: Vandenhoeck


and Ruprecht, 189 2 ), pp. 117-20. I t seems th a t Duhm was the f i r s t
theologian who attempted a possible l i n k between the b i b l i c a l Helel
s to ry w ith the Greek fa b le o f Phaeton, p. 119.

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20

triumph and d e ris io n over the f a l l o f some king."^ He went on to

r e j e c t the a p p lic a tio n o f the passage to any king o f the Neo-

Babylonian p e rio d , a ffir m in g th a t only Sennacherib o f Assyria


2
would f i t the t e x t and context o f the passage. E arly in the

tw e n tie th century Yandenburgh assigned d i f f e r e n t dates and authors

to the "oracle" (chap. 13) and the "Ode" (chap. 14) on the King of

Babylon."^ He a ffir m s th a t the Ode was not composed with reference

to any p a r t i c u l a r Assyrian or Babylonian king but was ready-made


4
when the Book o f Isa ia h was completed in p o s t - e x i l i c times. "The

Ode was w r it t e n with the purpose o f in s p ir in g the I s r a e l i t e s w ith

hope f o r d e liv e ra n c e from a domination o f which Sennacherib was

an a n tity p e ." ® In 1927 W illiam s a ffirm e d th a t the reference to the

fa ll o f L u c ife r in Isa 14:12 i s merely a metaphorical d e s c rip tio n of

the collapse o f the Babylonian power.®

The prince o f tw e n tie th -c e n tu r y theo lo g ian s , Karl B a rth , did

not discuss Isa 1 4 :1 2 -1 5 beyond mentioning i t as a d e s c rip tio n of

W i l l i a m H. Cobb, "The Ode in Is a ia h X IV ," JBL 15 (1 8 9 6 ):


18-19.
p
Following Hugo W inc k le r, Cobb asserts in the a r t i c l e th a t
the Ode came from the eighth century B .C ., r e s is t in g the increased
views begun by the turn o f the century a g ain s t Is a ia h 's authorship
o f many parts o f the book which bears his name.

^Frederick A. Yandenburgh, "The Ode on the King o f Babylon,


Isa ia h X IV :4 b -2 1 ," AJ5L 29 (1 9 1 2 -1 3 ):1 1 4 -1 6 .

\a n d e n b u r g h , p. 25, holds the view th a t the book o f Isaiah


was not completed u n t i l the second century B.C.

®Nabcnidus, a t the end o f his r e ig n , is also presented as


a possible subject to which the Ode r e fe rs ( i b i d . , p. 120).

®N. Powell W illia m s , The Idea o f the F a ll and o f O rig in a l


Sin Bal (London: Longmans, Green, and C o ., 1 927), p. 495. Cf"!
Eduard Konig, Das 3uch Jesaia (G uterslo h: C. Bertelsmann, 1 92 6 ),
p. 181, who has a s im i l a r view.

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21

the King o f Babylon as the ra d ia n t morning s ta r ( L u c i f e r ) cast down

from heaven. He thinks the t e x t is "so uncertain and obscure th a t

i t is in a d vis ab le to allow i t to be a basis f o r the development of

the d o c trin e o f a fa 1 1 o f angels and th e r e fo r e o f an e xplanation

o f the existence o f the d e v il and demons."^

Several other theologians have a pplied the passage h i s t o r i ­

c a lly , but since t h e i r i n t e r p r e t a t i o n is blended with mythic views

they are discussed in the next s e c tio n .

Mythological View

In discussing the mythic view we perceive there is some

overlap w ith the Satan and h i s t o r i c a l views; but since the major

emphasis is on the mythical elements i t is advisable to include

them in t h i s s ec tio n .

T. K. Cheyne was one o f the f i r s t commentators to see in

the passage some r e l i c s o f a mythical stage, and to r e l a t e the


2
morning s t a r w ith Venus. In his prid e the King of Babylon had

Karl B arth, Church Dogmatics, 12 v o l s . , ed. G. W. Bromiley


and T. F. Torrance (Edinburgh: T. & T. C la rk , 1958-1969), 3 :5 30 -3 1 .
Barth goes on to say th a t th is i n t e r p r e t a t i o n
"a ris e s from the superfluous need to ground our knowledge o f
the f a l l o f man upon the notion o f a metaphysical prelude which
i t was q u ite i n a p p r o p r ia te ly thought should be located in
heaven. . . . To bring angels and demons under the common
denominator o f th is f a t a l concept o f freedom is to confuse and
obscure everything th a t is to be said of both. A tru e and
o r d e r ly angel does not do what is ascribed to some angels in th is
d o c tr in e ( i n obscure s peculation concerning th is d e r i v a t i o n ) .
And on the other hand i t cannot be said th a t a real demon has
ever been in heaven. The demons merely a c t as i f they came from
heaven. But the d e v il was never an angel. He was a murderer
He never stood in the t r u t h . No tr u t h was ever in
him." (p. 531)
2
T. K. Cheyne, The Prophecies o f I s a i a h , 2 v o ls. (New York:
Thomas W h itta k e r , 1890), 1 :9 0 -9 1 . A tte n tio n is c a lle d to the f a c t
th a t in the Assyrian te x ts we f in d reference to a masculine and a

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22

been l i k e the morning s t a r in a n t i c i p a t i n g his lordship

over the sacred mountain o f I s r a e l . Cheyne admits, on the o the r

hand, a possible l i n k w ith Ezek 28:13, 14 in which t a l k s o f the

“holy mountain" by the garden of God. Skinner follow s Cheyne in

the m atter of i n t e r p r e t i n g the passage (vss. 12-15) as a probable

reference to the p la n e t Venus and b e lie v es i t derived from "some

Babylonian a s tra l myth."^

Gunkel also saw in the passage a nature myth which he t r i e d

to reconstruct. He suggested that i t could have had e i t h e r a


2
Babylonian or a Phoenician o r ig in .

Twentieth Century

By the turn o f the century scholars began to press the view

held by some previous scholars^concerning the date and authorship

feminine Venus: "The former had a t i t l e ( M u s t e l i l ) c lo s e l y r e la te d


to the Hebrew h £ l £ l , rendered here 'Shining One'; i t s period was from
sunset onwards, th a t o f the feminine Venus from sunrise onwards."

^J. S. S kinner, The Book o f I s a i a h , 2 v o l s . , CBSC (Cambridge:


U n iv e r s ity Press, 1 8 9 6 ), 1:122.
2
H. Gunkel, Schopfung und Chaos, pp. 133-34. In the myth,
Helal ben Shahar (The Morning S ta r , or the Son of the Dawn), who shines
in the skies in the morning, has his brightness dimmed by the sun's
rays. Gunkel, fo llo w in g Duhm, also ta lk s about the s i m i l a r i t y of the
Greek myth of Phaeton, son o f Eos, p. 134; Otto Procksch, Jesaia I ,
KAT (L e ip z ig : A. Deichertsche Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1 9 3 0 ), p. 197,
agrees with Gunkel in the view th a t an a s t r a l myth g l i t t e r s in vss.
1 2-13 , and discusses several aspects o f Babylonian myths which,
according to him, p a r a l l e l the m a te ria l o f th is passage. C f. also
O tto E i s s f e l d t , The Old Testament: An In tr o d u c tio n , tr a n s . P. R.
Ackroyd (New YorlTi Harper & Row, 1 96 5 ), p. 36; G o t t f r i e d Q u e ll,
"Jesaja 1 4 :1 -2 3 ," in F e s t s c h r i f t F r ie d r ic h Baumqartel, ed. J. Herrmann
and L. Rost (Erlangen: U niversitatsbund Erlangen, 1 9 5 9 ), pp. 150-53.

^J. G. L. Eichhorn ( E in le itu n q in das A lte Testament


[L e ip z ig : Weidmanns, 2nd e d . , 1 787), quoted by G. B. Gray, The
Book o f Isaiah 1 -3 9 , ICC [Edinburgh: T. & T. C la rk, 1 9 1 2 ], p. 233),
tr e a te d the e n t i r e o r a c le (1 3 :1 -1 4 :2 3 ) as p o s t - e x i l i c ; W. Gesenius,

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23

of the "oracle a g ain s t Babylon." G. B. Gray saw the date o f the

composition of the prose o racle as coming no e a r l i e r than the


*
e x ile .1 He held th a t the poem ( 1 4 : 4 b - 2 1 ) , fo r which i t is d i f f i ­

c u l t to propose a d a te , r e fe r s to the f a l l o f Babylon. Babylon could

be to the w r i t e r a symbolic name f o r a l l those th a t oppress I s r a e l .

Concerning vss. 1 2-15 , Gray a ffirm s th a t “the ty r a n t is h a l f com­

pared h a l f ( f o r the moment) i d e n t i f i e d w ith the r a d ia n t hero o f some


2
a s tr a l myth." This could have o r i g i n a l l y come from Babylon or

Phoenicia, but we cannot determine i t s e xa c t o r ig in a l form. In

his d is s e r t a t i o n on the prophecies a g a in s t Babylon in I s a i a h ,^

Lohmann proposed t h a t the passage was a reference to a version o f a

known myth of Helal ben Shahar. The king is compared to the ra dia nt

morning s t a r . He suggests th a t the poet could have had the Babylonian

Per Prophet Jesaia (L e ip z ig : Vogel, 1 8 2 1 ), quoted by Gray, Is a ia h ,


233, dated chap. 13 in the E x i l e , e tc . See Gray, I s a i a h , pp. 233-34,
f o r more discussion on the m atter.

^G. B. Gray, p. 233, considers 14:1 - 4a (2 2 -2 3 ) as post-


e x i l i c and th a t the author of 1 4 :4 b -21 is not the author o f 14:1- 4 a .
He b e lie v es t h a t a p o s t - e x i l i c e d i t o r wrote 14:1-4a to connect the two
poems (1 3 :2 -2 2 and 1 4 : 4 b -21) and pos sibly added 1 4 :2 2 -2 7 . Gray says,
" I f v. 19 be im a g in a tiv e prophecy, then i t is sim plest to see in
the e n t i r e poem a paean over A s s y ria , or Babylon, p e rs o n ifie d
(cp. 1 0 : 5 - 1 3 ) , or 'totum corpus Regum Assyriorum e t Babylonicorum,’
r a th e r than over a p a r t i c u l a r Assyrian or Babylonian kin g. So
i t is o f the c h a ra c te r and achievements o f a people r a t h e r than
o f a s in g le d e f i n i t e monarch th a t E zekiel th in k s , even when he
uses the term 'k in g o f T y r e ,' 'k ing o f E gypt,' in prophecies that
have several points o f contact w ith t h i s poem: see Ezek 28-32.
For a b r i e f e r example o f a lament w r i t t e n to s u i t m erely a n t i c i ­
pated and not actual con d itio n s, see Amos 5 : I f .
But i f v. 19 r e fe r s to an actual h i s t o r i c a l e v e n t, i t re fe rs
to d e t a i l s o f which nothing is otherw ise known, whether the king in
question be Sennacherib, Nebuchadnezzar, or Nabonidus." (p. 251)
2
G. B. Gray, I s a i a h , p. 525.

^Paul Lohmann, Die anonymen Prophetien qeqen Babel aus der


Z e i t des E x ils ( B e r l i n : Rostock U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1 9 1 0 ), pp. 24-25.

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24

I s h t a r myth in view , and i t has nothing to do with the Ita na myth.

The concept o f the mount o f meeting in the n o rth , says Lohmann,

was taken up by the I s r a e l i t e s in o ld e r times from Babylon through

the Canaanites.

A f t e r the discoveries o f Ras-Shamra in 1929, the primacy

o f the alleged myth became strong because there was a tendency to

replace the old Pan-Babylonian approach w ith Pan-Ugaritism.^ De


2 3
Vaux presented several correspondences in phraseology which he

saw between the Is a ia n ic passage and the m a te ria l from Ras-Shamra.

From those he a r r iv e d a t the conclusion th a t the poem o f Isa 14 was


4 - 5 6
in s p ire d by a Phoenician model. De Lange, Jacob, and Gray are a

sample o f those who have adopted a s im i l a r view.

In his lengthy a r t i c l e on Psalm 82, J. Morgenstern held the

^Donald E. Gowan, When Man Becomes God PTMS, 6 (P itts b u r g h ,


PA: Pickwick Press, 1975), p. 50.
2
Roland de Vaux, "Les Textes de Ras-Shamra e t L'Ancien
Testament," RB 46 (1 9 3 7 ):5 6 6 -4 4 7 .

^'rll 1 and Shr form the two p a r t ie s o f the U g a r i t i c Pantheon.


HI 1 is the f a t h e r o f goddess Kosharot. Shr forms w ith slm the couple
o f the "graceful gods," sons o f E l ; the Mount o f Assembly z "? rr )
may be compared to the "Assembly o f the sons of God" shown in one
t e x t , or w ith the Mount o f El Saphon, the mountain o f the gods, e tc .
See CTA 1 : 1 7 . 2 . 2 7 ; 1 : 2 3 . 5 2 - 5 3 ; ' 1 : 2 4 . b -6 , 40-42.
4
R. de Langhe, Les Textes de Ras Shamra-Uqarit e t leurs
rapports avec l e m ilie u B iblique de 1'Ancien Testament, 2 v ols.
(P a r is : Desclee de Brouwer, 1 9 4 5 ), pp. 239-44.

^Edmond Jacob, Ras-Shamra-Uqarit e t L'Ancien Testament


(N e u c h a te l: Delachaux e t N i e s t l e , 1 9 6 0 ), pp. 104-05; "Les Textes de
Ras S ham ra-Ugarit," RHPR 27 (1 9 4 7 ):2 5 5 —58.

^John Gray, The Legacy o f Canaan, VTSUP 5 (Leiden: E. J.


B r i l l , 1 965), p. 288, thinks the f a l l of the b rig h t V enus-star who
proved an inadequate s u b s titu te f o r Baal is r e f le c t e d in Isa
14: 12- 15.

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25

view th a t the passage (vss. 12-14) is a combination o f two v a r ia n t

versions o f a myth which had been c u rre n t in Israel f o r some time

p r i o r to the composition o f Isa 14, but which was not n a tiv e in

Is ra e l. I t is his conclusion th a t

. . . the myths we have found c it e d in several v a r i a n t forms


in apocalyptic and N.T. w r i t i n g s , the myth of the f a l l o f
Satan and his a s s o c ia te angels from heaven to e a r t h , or even
in to the abyss, is id e n t i c a l w ith the myth of Helel ben Shahar
of Isa. 1 4 :1 2 -1 4 , t h a t , in o the r words, we have to do in a l l
these passages w ith only one myth, which must have been c u rre n t
in Judaism f o r a very long period and which q u ite n a t u r a l l y in
the course o f i t s e v o lu tio n and i t s adaptation to various pur­
poses, h i s t o r i c a l and t h e o l o g i c a l , developed several s l i g h t l y
v a r ia n t forms. . . J

He assigns the chapter a date o f composition (c . 486-476 B .C .) and

i d e n t i f i e s the fi g u r e o f the King o f Babylon with e i t h e r Darius o r ,

more l i k e l y , Xerxes.

Walther E ic h r o d t, in his famous OT Theology, th in k s Isa ia h

used the fig u r e o f H i l a l as "a p o e tic s im ile f o r the outrageous

self-aggrandisem ent o f the e a r t h ly w o r l d - r u l e r . But behind i t

stands a myth stemming indeed from paganism, o f the r e b e l l i o n of

an a n g e lic being a g a in s t the most high God, which ended in his


2
being thrown down i n t o the underworld." In his e xtensive

"The Mythological Background," p. 109. Morgenstern


i d e n t i f i e s Helel ben Shahar with the fi g u r e o f Ps 8 2 : 6 , but is
c r i t i c i z e d by M a titia h u Tsevat ("God and the Gods in Assembly,"
HUCA 40-41 [ 1 9 6 9 - 1 9 7 0 ] :1 3 1 ) , who says t h a t " i f the c h i e f pro­
ta g o n is t was g e n e r a lly known, th is name could hardly remain unmen­
tioned in our Psalm passage."
2
Walther E ic h r o d t, Theology o f the Old Testament, tr a n s .
J. A. Baker, OTL, 2 v o ls . (London: S.C.M. Press, 1967 [ o r i g i n a l
German, 1 9 5 0 ]), 2 :208. Two decades l a t e r Eichrodt ( Per Herr
der Geschichte BAT 17, I I [ S t u t t g a r t : Calwer V erla g , 1 9 6 7 ], p. 25)
r e je c t s the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n o f L u c ife r w ith Satan, but thinks th a t
the prophetic usage o f the sto ry o f the r e b e llio n o f the morning
s t a r prepared the way f o r the new i n s i g h t concerning the c a re e r of
Satan which (according to him) obtained i t s impression through the
NT message.

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26

discussion o f the L u c ife r theme in the B ib le , Schmidt a p p lie s the

song p r i m a r i l y to the king o f Babylon.^ He goes on to say th a t

H in te r solchen angeblich nur b i l d h a f t e n , ubertragenen


Wendungen s te c k t doch v ie l mehr, und damit geraten w ir in
den Bereich des Mythus. Ein solcher Mythus g i l t einem l e t z t -
lic h hintergrundigen Vorgang, einem damonischen, einem g o t t -
lichen Geschehen, aessen H in te r g r iin d ig k e it die Vordergriin- ~
d i g k e i t der Geschichte, des menschlichen Geschehens e r h e l l t .

And he says f u r t h e r ,

Das ein a s i a t i s c h e r Grosskonig a ls L u c if e r , Sohn der Aurora,


a u f t r i t t , i s t zu s p e z i f i s c h , a ls das da eine a b g e g r if fe n e ,
ubertragene Sprache v o rlie g e n konnte. Man mochte j a wohl an
sich den Vergleichspunkt zwischen Babelkonig und Morgen-
stern a l l e i n d a rin sehen, dass beiden Gestalten stra hle nde Macht
e ig n e t. Der Prophet i s t aber in seinen Drohworten n ic h t nur
damit b e s c h a f t i g t , sondern e r w e is t s o fo rt auf den S turz beider
Grossen aus der Hohe in d ie T i e f e . Und dazu dommt, dass der
Grosskonig sich d ie Bezeichnungen Helal und Sohn des Sachar
b e ile g t bzw. sich beilegen 1a s s t . 3

Eichrodt s a id , "The myth no longer has a l i f e o f i t s own . . . but

belongs to the treasure-house o f p o e try , on which poets and prophets


A

lik e d to draw in order to c lo th e t h e i r thoughts in r ic h a p p a r e l." ''

K. L. Schmidt c r i t i c i z e d th is by saying th a t myth and h i s t o r y should

not be "played o f f " a g a in s t each o th e r . The Is a ia n ii. Lui.iTer-

d e c la ra tio n m anifests richness and power when one understands i t

in i t s com plexity o f heavenly and e a r t h l y , o f demonic and human, of

enigmatic and e v id e n t. F i n a l l y he adds, " I s t es durchaus keine

metabasis e is a l i o genos, wenn der a ls L u c ife r a p o s tro p h ie rte

Babel-Konig m it dem Teufel g le ic h g e s e tz t worden i s t . " ^ Marvin

^Karl L. Schmidt, " L u c ife r a ls g e fa lle n e Engelmacht," ThZ


7 (1 9 5 1 ):1 6 1 -6 9 .

^ I b i d . , p. 166. ^ Ib id . 4E ic h ro d t, Theology, 2:115.

^ S ch m id t, “L u c i f e r , " p. 173; c f . Rivkah Scharf K lu g e r, Satan


in the Old Testament (Evanston, IL: Northwestern U n i v e r s i t y Press,
1967). Kluger a f f ir m s : " I t th e r e fo r e might not be going too f a r
to see in them (passages, inclu d in g Isa 1 4:12 -1 5 ) the re a l germ
c e l l s o f the l a t e r concept of Satan as the f a l l e n L u c ife r" (p . 117).

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27

Pope^ believes th a t due to inform ation a v a ila b le from the Kumarbi


2 3
and Ullikummi myths and from what is known of the f a l l o f El in

the U g a r itic myths, we can say th a t the background of the Is a ia n ic

passage and r e la t e d te x ts (Ezek 28, Ps 82, e t c . ) is p r e - I s r a e l i t e

and o r i g i n a l l y had nothing to do w ith YHWH;

. . . the u ltim a te mythological background o f t h i s a ll e g o r y ,


as also in the case o f the Prince o f Tyre in Ezek. x x v i i i , is
a theomachy or Titanomachy, s i m i l a r to the Hurrian and Greek
versions, in which El and his champion (Prince Sea) ana his
cohorts were defeated and banished to the n e th e rw o rld .4

In one o f the most d e ta ile d studies o f Isa 1 4 :1 2 -1 5 , P.

G relot has taken up Gunkel's suggestion th a t the "Morning S ta r" is

Phaeton.^ He has endeavored to re c o n s tru c t the s o -c a lle d " o r ig in a l

myth" which he thinks l i e s behind the Isaian passage. This he has

done e s p e c ia lly by examining South A ra b ic , U g a r i t i c , and Greek

m a te ria ls . He concludes th a t the same myth is found— although in

v a r ia n t forms— in the l i t e r a t u r e o f U g a r i t , Greece, and I s r a e l .

This evidence suggests to him th a t Kelel is the same f i g u r e as

^Marvin H. Pope, El in the U g a r i t i c T e x ts , YTSup 2 (Leiden:


E. J. B r i l l , 1 9 5 5 ), pp. 103-05.
2
C f. A rvid S. Kapelrud, Baal in the Ras-Shamra Texts
(Copenhagen: G. E. C. Gad, 1952), p. 89.

^E. Theodore M ulle n , J r . ( The Assembly o f the Gods, HSM 24


[Chico, CA: Scholars Press, 1980], p. 242) c r i t i c i z e s Pope, saying
th a t " i t is impossible to agree w ith M. Pope th a t the myth underlying
Isa 14 and Ezek 28 was a r e v o lt by J£l him se lf in an attem pt to
regain the p o s itio n taken by Bael . Both te x ts make i t p e r f e c t l y
c le a r th a t the r e v o l t was a g a in s t, not by the god ; E l . "

^Pope, p. 103.
5
P. G r e l o t , " Is a i e XIV 12-15 e t son a r r i e r e - p l a n mytholc-
gique," RHR 149 (1 9 5 6 } :1 8 -4 8 . Cf. W a lte r Baumgartner, " I s r a e l i t i s c h -
Griechische Sagenbeziehungen," in ZumA1 ten Testament und S einer Umwelt
(Leiden: E. J. B r i l l , 1959), pp. 157-58. Baumgartner draws a tte n tio n
by a North American Indian myth to the universal c h a ra c te r o f th is
motive and is doubtful concerning the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n o f H elal and
Phaeton.

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28

Phaeton-Venus. ^ G re lo t suggests th a t vss. 12-15 could be a

possible p o rtion o f the 'A t t a r myth which is p a r t i a l l y preserved


2
in the U g a r i t i c m a t e r i a l .

At the end o f his a r t i c l e G relo t points out th a t the

b ib lic a l prophet u t i l i z e d themes frcm pagan myths and applied them

in the b i b l i c a l c o n te x t, or in the c o n te xt o f the b a t t l e of Yahweh

a g ain s t His human enemies, as well as a g a in s t the angels, e tc .

In the end he admits t h a t the u t i l i z a t i o n by the a ncient C h ris tia n

theologians o f Isa 14 to evoke the f a l l o f Satan was not an

a r b i t r a r y d e c is io n ; Helel the son of the dawn became, with good

reason, the poetic prototype o f the f a l l e n a n g e l . 3

In an extensive a r t i c l e on the Is a ia n passage, Quell has

held t h a t vss. 4 b -21 were not produced by Isa ia h but derived from

a pagan source. Vss. 12-15 e s p e c ia lly brin g evidence from the

mythical sphere of the a ncient form. The poem has nothing to do

with God; i t deals w ith gods. A minor prophet may have obtained

a work o f pagan p o e try , tra n s la te d in to Hebrew, and then Yahwehized

it. Quell thinks th a t o r i g i n a l l y the poem had nothing to do with

Babylon, th a t i t must have o r ig in a te d in a myth. He did not apply


4
th is oassaae to any S D e cific f i g u r e .

^See below, pp. 80-81, f o r c r i t i c i s m o f t h is view held by


G r e lo t.

Is a ie X IV ,'1 pp. 43-45. In h is i t n e r p r e t a t i o n of Helel as


being e q u iv a le n t to ‘ A t t a r , G re lo t is supported by Nickelsburg,
R e s u rre c tio n , p. 69; M ullen, The Assembly o f the Gods, pp. 238-42;
and J. Gray, “Day S t a r , " IDB, 1:785.

3G r e l o t , RHR 149 ( 1 9 5 6 ) :45-48.

4Q u e ll, “Jesaia 1 4 :1 -2 3 ," pp. 131, 150, 157. Cf. G. Fohrer,


Das Buch Jesaia I ( S t u t t g a r t : Zwingl i - V e r l a g , 1 9 6 6 ), pp. 190-92;
A. S. H e rb e rt, Isa ia h 1 -3 9 , CBC (Cambridqe: U n iv e r s it y Press, 1973),
p. 103.

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29

Brevard Childs^ agrees w ith Gunkel that the old trans­

l a tio n s o f Helal as the morning s t a r , and the reference to Baal

Zaphon in d ic a te th a t the passage (vss. 12-15). derives from Canaanite

mythology as a nature myth. According to C hilds , the prophetic


2
w r i t e r reworked the old myth in to his taunt song. Childs r e je c ts

the suggested p a r a l l e l s from Babylonian l i t e r a t u r e and points

towards a Canaanite provenience o f the myth, although he recognizes

th a t an exact p a r a l l e l in Canaanite l i t e r a t u r e has not yet been

found. He sees the use o f the myth in th is passage as o f "only

i l l u s t r a t i v e value as an extended f i g u r e o f speech."^

W. H. Schmidt holds the view th a t in Isa 1 4:13-15 o r i g i n a l l y

separate t r a d i t i o n s are fused:

Der Text i s t n ic h t nur l i t e r a r i s c h , sondern auch


t r a d itio n s g e s c h ic h tl ich spat. . . . Deshalb i s t von h ie r
aus kein Schluss auf die a lt e n T ra d itio n e n s t a t t h a f t ; der
Text l a s s t sich n ic h t ohne w e it e r e s auf einen kanaanaischen
Mythos zu ru c kfu h ren .4

In comparing the Isaian passage w ith Ezek 28:11-17 he adds:

Ident so d ie Vertreibung aus dem Gottesgarten zur Verstossung


vom Gottesberg w ird, g l e ic h t sich die Erzahlung vom Fall des
irdischen Konigs dem Mythos vom S turz des Himmelswesens
( Jes 1 4 :1 2 f f . ) an.5

Myth and R e a l i t y , pp. 6 8 -7 1 . Among those who have the


same idea a t t h i s point we note John B r i g h t , " I s a i a h , " PCB
(London: Nelson, 1962), p. 500.
2
See C h ild s , Myth and R e a l i t y , p. 69, f o r his suggested
reconstructed myth.

"^Childs observes th a t " i t was a serious misunderstanding


o f t h i s passage when C h r is tia n commentators ( T e r t u l l i a n , Gregory
the G rea t, e t c . ) in te rp re te d tne f a l l of Heial in the l i g h t of
Luke 10.18 as r e f e r r i n g to the p r e - h i s t o r y of Satan and revived a
mythology a lre a d y overcome in the Old Testament" (p. 7 0).
4
Werner H. Schmidt, Konigtum Gottes in l l g a r i t und I s r a e l ,
BZAW 80 ( B e r l i n : A lfre d Topelmann, 1 9 6 6 ), p. 35.

51bid . , p. 35.

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30

In her studies on the mythological elements in the OT,

Ohler^ a ffirm s th a t H e lel ben Shahar became a model of the con­

duct o f arrogant k in g s , as w ell as the f i r s t created model f o r the

c i t y o f Tyre. Ohler emphasizes th a t Helel ben Shahar s t r i v e s to

reach up in to the h ig h e st regions o f heaven, but he i s , neverthe­

l e s s , in heaven i t s e l f a lre a d y . He is thrown out o f heaven into

e a r t h , in to the p i t . A myth, otherwise unknown to us, is reckoned

as according the h ig h e st honor to the arrogant aims o f t h i s Helel

ben Shahar. Several reasons are presented by Ohler to show th a t

the being in Ezek 2 8 : 1 1 -1 7 , and Helel are two d i f f e r e n t f ig u r e s .


2
Each is based upon a d i f f e r e n t myth.

Oldenburq has made a d e t a il e d study on ' A t t a r ' s myth in

South A ra b ia , but he was unable to demonstrate any tr a c e o f i t

present in Isa 14.^ He th in k s th a t El o f the U g a r itic pantheon,

who had his residence upon Mount Sapan, may be r e f l e c t e d in the


4
words o f Isa 14:13. Summing up, Oldenburg admits th a t there are

no myths in the Hebrew B ib le . However,

I l l u s t r a t i o n s from G e n tile mythology are used as parables


expressing s p i r i t u a l t r u t h s . Whereas El is Yahweh, who is
indeed the only t r u e god, every o th e r r iv a l d e i t y was i d e n t i ­
fie d w ith the d e v i l . Thus the myth o f the f a l l e n s t a r in
r e a l i t y describes Satan's downfall in primeval t i m e s . 5

Annemarie O h le r , Mytholoqische Elemente im Alten Testament


KBANT (Dusseldorf: Patm os-Verlag, 1 9 6 9 ), pp. 1 7 6 ff.
2
Ohler po in ts out t h a t a d i s t i n c t d iffe re n c e between these
two s to r ie s is the f a c t t h a t they take place in d i f f e r e n t realms:
the d iv in e realm from which i t f a l l s down in the one myth is heaven
and in the other is th e e a r t h l y mount o f God (p. 1 76).

\ l l f Oldenburg, "Above the Stars o f El: El in Ancient South


Arabic R e lig io n ," ZAW 82 (1 9 7 0 ):2 0 6 - 0 8 .

\ l l f Oldenburg, The C o n f l i c t between El and Ba'al in


Canaanite Religion (L e id e n ! E. J. B r i l 1 , 1969), p. 104.

^Oldenburg, "Above the S ta r s ," p. 206.

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31

j. W. McKay^ examined G r e lo t 's a r t i c l e and points out th a t

his analysis o f the Greek m aterial is i n t e r e s t i n g and i l lu m i n a t i n g

and agrees w ith him in " th a t the Hebrew and the Greek myths c o r r e ­

spond." McKay goes even f u r t h e r in f i t t i n g the correspondence

and a dm itting " t h a t Phoenician mediation may s t i l l be m a in ta in e d ."

However, he sees some remaining serious d i f f i c u l t i e s such as the

non-correspondence of the p a r e n t - d e i t i e s , " f o r Eos was a goddess

whose beauty the Greeks e x t o l l e d , w h ile Shahar, with his bro th e r

Shalim, is a voracious young male god who roams the de se rt fr i n g e s .


2
. . .“ In contin u in g his e f f o r t s to solve the "alleged mytho­

lo g ic a l a llu s io n s " in Isa 1 4:12-15, McKay has made a study o f the

use of the word G enerally i t is taken as r e f e r r i n g to a

personal b e in g , according to the MT. I t is thus taken as a

reference to a n a tu ra l phenomenon. McKay admits the p o s s i b i l i t y o f

i t s being found in the mythological m o tifs o f the myths of Helel and

Phaeton, but he is aware th a t "there is no known Canaanite or


4
Phoenician myth which shows close correspondence with those myths."

F i n a l l y he t h in k s i t possible th a t upon i t s entrance in to Canaan,

the Greek myth underwent change and m o d ific a tio n in a way which

made i t in to a w h o lly Canaanite t a l e even though the ro le s o f i t s

characters were m o d ifie d . McKay suggested a l i s t of steps by

^"Helel and the Dawn-Goddess," VT 20 (1 9 7 0 ) : 4 5 1 -6 4 ; f o r


other d i f f i c u l t i e s pointed out by McKay, see p. 456. C f. F r i t z
S t o l z , S tru k tu re n und Fiquren im K u lt von Jerusalaem, BZAW 118
(B e rlin ! W a lte r de G ru y te r, 1970), p. 111. See Herrmann B arth,
Die Jesaja-W orte in der J o s i a z e i t , WMANT 48 (Neukirchen-Vluyn:
Neukirchener V e r la g , 1 9 7 7 ), p. 134, f o r c r i t i c i s m on McKay's views.

2McKay, " H e l e l , " p. 455. 3I b i d . , p. 461. 4Ib id .

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which the Greek myth came to be a l t e r e d J

Seth Erlandsson sees mythological a llu s io n s in vs. 12 and

a r e la tio n s h ip o f i t with Ezek 2 8 :1 1 -1 9 . Components of a myth

have been used to represent the k in g 's arrogance and f a l l . Besides

t h a t Erlandsson be lie v e s " a llu s io n is also made to O rie n ta l royal


2
ideology with d iv in e kingship as an example o f h y b r is ." Since

Erlandsson's c e n tra l contention is th a t Isa 13 and 14 have t h e i r

" l i n g u i s t i c and h i s t o r i c a l context in the accounts of the prophet

Is a ia h on the occasion o f the Assyrian o c cup ation," he obviously

must see behind the poem (vss. 4b—21) the f i g u r e o f an Assyrian

k in g , i . e . , Sargon I I or Sennacherib.
3 4
C ra ig ie c a r r ie s f u r t h e r F o h re r's view th a t Is a ia h 14:12-15

is an adaptation o f c e r t a in themes associated w ith the Canaanite

god A th ta r by f i n d i n g a b e t t e r t r a n s l a t i o n f o r an e p it h e t o f

A th ta r which would be "luminous” and would stress the c h a ra c te r

as a "shining one." He emphasizes th a t the name ben Shahar is not

an in d ic a tio n o f genealogy but a re fe re n c e to in descent (th e f a l l

of the Venus s t a r a t dawn); th is stresses A t h t a r 's c h a ra c te r as a

w arrio r.

In his commentary on Is a i a h ,^ W ildberger holds the view

th a t the poem was w r it t e n l a t e r than I s a i a h 's times. He pre se nts ,

^ I b i d . , pp. 463-64.

2Seth Erlandsson, The Burden o f Babylon, CBOT 4 (Lund:


CWK Gleerup, 1 9 7 0 ), pp. 121, 123, 161, 166.

^P. C. C r a i g ie , " H e le l, A th ta r and Phaeton ( I s a 1 4 : 1 2 - 1 5 ) , "


ZAW 85 (1 9 7 3 ):2 2 3 -2 5 .

4J e s a ja , 1 :1 79 -8 0 .

5Hans W ild b e rg er, J e s a ja , BKAT 10 (Neukirchen-Vluyn:


Neuchirchener V e rla g , 1974), pp. 5 4 2 f f .

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w ith some re s e r v a tio n , the idea th a t Nebuchadnezzar could f i t the

fi g u r e in the passage. He holds th a t i t was w r itte n before the

death o f th is monarch. W ildberger points out th a t th is personage

is not i d e n t i f i e d . Since i t was common in those days to i d e n t i f y

such fig u r e s in presenting the o racles a g a in s t the foreign n a tio n s ,

t h i s fi g u r e could represent a more general world power— in the

same way "Babel" has become a general code name f o r a world power.

The t e x t , according to W ild b e rg er, would have some h i s t o r i c a l

re fe re n c e , but not o f any u ltim a te s ig nicance. Hence, the passage

could deal p r im a r ily w ith the type.

In 1975 D. Gowan presented some considerations concerning

the i n t e r p r e t a t io n o f the Is a ia n passage through the years. He

sees considerable a f f i n i t i e s w ith the U g a r i t i c m aterial in i t and

agrees th a t the Ras-Shamra te x ts have shed new l i g h t on many terms

which occur in Isa 14. These include the rephaim, Saphon, e t c .

However, Gowan c r i t i c i z e s the idea th a t because o f such s i m i l a r ! t i e

in both m a te ria ls th e re must have e x is te d a Canaanite myth l i k e

Isa 1 4 :1 2 -1 5 , from which the l a t t e r was derived.^

Gowan takes the g re a t m ythological themes which appear in

Isa 14; (1 ) the ascent in to heaven, (2 ) the f a l l from heaven,

( 3 ) war in heaven, e t c . , and compares them w ith s im ila r themes in

r e la te d l i t e r a t u r e from o th e r c u ltu r e s . From these comparisons he

a r r iv e d a t the fo llo w in g conclusions:

1. "No one has y e t discovered a close p a r a l l e l to the

myth recounted in Isa 14; even though each o f the elements in i t

D ona ld Gowan, When Man Becomes God, p. 45.

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34

appears in other l i t e r a t u r e s they are always combined in s i g n i f i ­

c a n t ly d i f f e r e n t ways . " 1

2. “The stru c tu re o f Isa 14.4-21 makes a human being the


p
subjec t o f a l l these themes."

3. "The passage t e l l s of a r e b e llio u s god, w ith the sub­

j e c t changed; now i t is a human being.

In concluding he observes th a t the I s r a e l i t e w r i t e r has

almost "exalted man to heaven, a t l e a s t to the p o in t th a t he can


4
dream o f e q u a l i t y w ith the most h ig h ."

0. Loretz^ declares t h a t equating the hybris o f the r u l e r

o f Babylon and his f a l l w ith the myth o f rt‘9 - ] a V ■> n mythol­

ogizes i t s d e s tin y . The myth, he a f f i r m s , appears in the passage

a lre a d y in the casing of the a s t r a l angelology which appears also

in Isa 2 4:21 -2 2 . The fo llo w in g then would be seen in Isa 14:12-15:

1. The poem on the f a l l o f the king reaches back to the

t r a d i t i o n o f the Canaanite p o e try .

2. I t tra n s fe rre d to the f a t e o f the King o f Babylon.

3. The f a l l of the King of Babel was explained by the Helel

ben Shahar myth.

4. This i n t e r p r e t a t i o n th a t occurred through the myth of

Helel ben Shahar came to supply the background o f the views about

the o r i g i n , work, and f a t e o f the good and e v i l s p i r i t s and angels.

Babylon and i t s r u l e r thus developed in to a m a n ife s ta tio n o f the

1 I b i d . , pp. 65-66. 2 1 b id .

3 1bi d . 4 1bi d .

5 0. L o re tz , "Der Kanaanaisch-Biblische Mythos vom Sturz


des Sahar-Sohnes H e l e l , " UF 8 (1 9 7 6 ):1 3 5 .

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35

f a l l e n heavenly beings who are contrary to God.

Loretz adds:

Babylon wird auf diese Weise a ls eine damonisch-satanische


Macht beschrieben und der u b e r l i e f e r t e Text im Sinne der neuen
Theologie i n t e r p r e t i e r t , die wohl u n te r iranischen E in flu s s den
bosen Geistern Oder Engeln Einwirkung a u f das Geschehen in der
Welt z u s c h r e i b t J

Hermann B a rth , in his w ell-researched commentary on Isa


2
14:12 -1 5 , sees in Shahar, E l, and Elyon the mount of assembly,

the top o f Saphan, mythical u n ity -m o tiv e s ; but he adds th a t

Jedoch s t e l l t der Abschnitt n ic h t e in fac h eine ad hoc


komponierte Addition solch e in z e ln e r Traditionselem ente d a r,
sondern g r e i f t einen mythologischen S t o f f a u f, in dem
verschiedene e in z e ln e Vorstellungselemente b e re its innerhalb
der D a rs te llu n g eines Vorgangs verbunden w a r e n . ^

Barth be lie v es th a t the o r ig in o f the imagery employed come

to th is myth from Canaanite sources, but he does not th in k i t is

very l i k e l y th a t vss. 12-15 are based upon the reco n s tru c tio n from

a myth. He thinks the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n o f Helel with ' A t t a r is doubt­

f u l , holding th a t the episode in the Baal cycle contains important

d iffe r e n c e s from the acts described in Isa 1 4 :1 2 -1 4 . He also

r e je c ts the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n o f Helel w ith the Greek Phaeton. He


4.
compares Isa 14:12 -1 5 w ith Ezek 28:11f . and a r r iv e s a t the con­

clusion t h a t the former is to be seen a g a in s t the backdrop o f a

concept in which the king or p r im it iv e man is banished from the

mount o f God because o f his s e l f - e x a l t a t i o n . From there he was

cast down to e a r t h .

1 Ib id ., p. 136.

^H. B arth, Die J es aja-W orte, pp. 131-35.

3 I b i d . , p. 132. 4 Ib id ., p. 134.

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36

Our conclusions derived from th is review of the l i t e r a t u r e

on the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f Isa 14 are summarized below a f t e r the

l i t e r a t u r e on Ezek 28 has been reviewed.^

A Survey o f the L i t e r a t u r e on the


In t e r p r e t a t io n o f E zekiel 28

Jewish In t e r p r e t e r s

Among the Jewish commentators we f i n d the passage (Ezek 28)


2 3
a p p lie d to Hiram, King o f Tyre, to Nebuchadnezzar, and to Adam
4
and Eve in the Garden of Eden. We also f i n d a very in te r e s tin g

commentary on Ezek 2 8:13-14 which says:

Adam deserved to be spared the experience o f death. Why


then was the p enalty o f death decreed a g a in s t him? Because
the Holy One, blessed be He, foresaw t h a t Nebuchadnezzar and
Hiram would declare themselves gods; th e r e fo r e was death
decreed against him. Thus i t is w r i t t e n , Thou wast in Eden
the garden o f God (Ezek. x x v i i i , 13): was then Hiram in Eden?
S u re ly not! But He said thus to him: " I t is thou who causedst
him who was in Eden [s c . Adam] to d i e . " R. Hiyya, the son o f
R. B e rekiah's daughter, quoted in R. B e rek ia h 's name: Thou
wast the fa r -c o v e r in g cherub— kerub: I t was thou who didst
cause th a t youth ( robeh— sc. Adam) to d i e . ^

We see in th is quotation the E zekiel passage connected

to Isa 14 (Nebuchadnezzar being the o p p re ss o r), and the Cherub,

who is represented by the King o f Tyre, as being the one who caused

Adam to fa 11.

From the Church Fathers


to the Reformation

As we have seen in the case o f Isa 14, the passage of the

"Guardian Cherub" (1 3 o n : i ' , : ) o f Ezek 28 has— fromthe time of

^See pp. 48-51.

3Baba B athra, 75a; Hul1 , 89a; M i d r , Gen 38:1; Exod 7 :1 ;


Lev 1 5 :1 .
3 M idr. Gen 47:29. 4 M idr. Lev 1 6 : 1 . 5 Midr. Gen 1:31

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37

Origen to the Reformation— been connected w ith the "Morning S ta r"

(f n r 72 7 7 ti) and g e n e r a lly been applied to Satan. Besides

th a t we have seen some o th e r instances in which the Ezekiel passage

was in te r p r e t e d or commented upon independently. In r e fu tin g the

d u a l i S t i c theogonies o f Gnosticism, O rigin r e fe r s to Ezek 28 by

saying th a t the passage (vss. 12-17)

cannot be understood o f a man, but o f some superior power


which had f a l l e n away from a higher p o s itio n . . . . These
powers (angels) were not formed or created so by n a tu re ,
but f e l l from a b e t t e r to a worse p o s i t i o n , and were con­
verted into wicked b e in g s J

T e r t u l l i a n fu r t h e r s O rigen's view , s t a t in g :

For in the person o f the prince o f Tyre i t is said in


re ference to the d e v i l : "Moreover . . . " (Ezek 2 8 : 1 2 -1 6 ).
This d e s c r ip tio n , i t is m a n ife s t, p ro p e rly belongs to the
transgression of the angel, and not to the p r in c e 's : fo r
none among human beings was e i t h e r born in the paradise o f God,
not even Adam h im s e lf, who was r a th e r tr a n s la te d t h i t h e r ; nor
placed with a cherub upon God's holy mountain, th a t is to say,
in the heights o f heaven, from which the Lord t e s t i f i e s t h a t
Satan f e l l ; nor detained amongst the stones o f f i r e , and the
fla s h in g rays o f burning c o n s t e l l a t i o n s , whence Satan was
cast down l i k e lig h t n in g (Luke 1 0 : 1 8 ). No, i t is none e lse
than the very author o f sin who was denoted in the person o f a
s in f u l man: he was once ir r e p r o a c h a b le , a t the time o f his
c r e a t i o n , formed f o r good by God, as by the good C reator of
irreproachab le c r e a tu r e s , and adorned w ith every a n g e lic g lo r y ,
and associated w ith God, good with the Good; but afterw ards
o f his own accord removed to e v i l . 2

C y r il of Jerusalem (c . A.D. 315-c. 386)^ and Ambrose (c . A.D.

340-397) held the same v ie w . 4 Jerome has an i n t e r e s t i n g comment on

t h i s passage which we quote a t length:

^Origen De P r i n c i p i i s 1 . 5 . 4 (ANF, 4 :2 5 8 ).
?
T e r t u l l i a n Against Marcion 2 .9 -1 0 .

JC y r il of Jerusalem Cathechetical Lectures 2 .4 (NPNF,


7 :8 -9 ).

4Ambrose De Paradise 1 . 2 . 9 (MPL, 1 4 :2 9 4 ).

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38

He is the one to whom the words of Ezechiel are addressed:


"You were stamped w ith the seal of p e r f e c t io n ." Notice e x a c t ly
what the prophet says: "the seal o f p e r f e c t io n . " He did not
say to the d e v i l , you are the sign of p e r f e c t io n , but the seal
of p e r fe c tio n . God had set His impression upon you and made
you l i k e unto H im s e lf; but you afterw ards destroyed the
resemblance. You were Created in the image and likeness o f
God.
In th a t same prophecy i t says, moreover: “With the Cherub
I placed you; you were in the Garden o f God among precious
stones, the beryl and the g a rn e t. And you f e l l , " Ezechiel says,
"and were banned from the mountain o f the Lord." This prin c e
is the king o f T y r e , the king o f Tyre from the time he f e 11 —
inasmuch as Tyre in Hebrew means SOR, t h a t is t r i b u l a t i o n .
That p rince, t h e r e f o r e , who a t f i r s t was in heaven, has now
become the king o f T y re, the king o f the t r i b u l a t i o n of th is
world. "You s h a ll f a l l l i k e one o f the p rin c e s ." Since i t
says " l i k e one," i t shows t h a t there are others a l s o J

Throughout the c e n tu rie s scholars such as Gregory the


2 3 4
G reat, Rabanus Maurus (c . A.D. 7 7 6 -8 5 6 ), Thomas Aquinas, and
5
Caspar Schwenckfeld shared the view o f the Church Fathers in the

in t e r p r e t a t io n o f Ezek 23 as being applied to Satan.

The Reformers

Luther comments very b r i e f l y on Ezek 28, and says, "For thus

Ezekiel says to the Devil under the name o f the prince o f Tyre

(Ezek 2 8 :3 ): 'Behold, you are w iser than D a n ie l'." ®

Jerome Homily on Psalm 8 2 , in FaCh, 4 8:107-08. Note


Commentariorum in Ezechielem Pruphetan 10.28 (MPL 2 5 : 2 7 3 ), where
Jerome r e la te s Ezek 28 to Isa 14 and Luke 10. See a ls o , Against
Rufinus 2.2 (MPL, 2 3 : 4 4 9 ).

^Gregory the G reat E xp o sitio Librum Job 3 2 .4 0 .2 3 (MPL, 76:


6 6 4 -6 5 ).

^Rabanus Maurus Commentariorum in Ezechielem 11 (MPL, 110:


7 9 2 ).

^Thomas Aquinas Summa Theoloqica 1 .3 1 7 .

^Caspar Schwenckfeld, "Fragment of a L e t t e r to Leonhart


Hieber?" 13:142.

®Luther, F i r s t Lectures on the Psalms, in L u th e r's Works,


10:347.

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39

Calvin stopped his commentary on Ezekiel in chap. 20, so

we do not have his comments on chap. 28, but i t is almost c ertain

he re je c te d the p a t r i s t i c a p p lic a tio n to Satan as he did with

Isa 1 4 . 1

In the Nineteenth Century

W. J. Schroeder held the view t h a t the Cherub in th is

passage has l i t t l e or nothing a t a l l to do with paradise. He sup­

posed th a t the d e signation Cherub simply points to the temple a t

Jerusalem, and e s p e c i a l l y to the most holy place th e re . He con­

nects i t w ith the in flu e n c e Tyre had there in the time o f David

and Solomon when the Tyrians helped in the b u ild in g ente rpris e s
2
in I s r a e l .

In 1876, F a i r b a i r n , the great t y p o l o g i s t , in te r p r e te d the

passage as a p p lyin g only to the h i s t o r i c a l Tyre. He c r i t i c i z e d

the Church Fathers and others who had a p p lie d t h is t e x t as having

to do m y s t ic a ll y w ith Satan.^ The passage is taken as an

h i s t o r i c a l parable in which the kings o f Tyre were f i r s t personi­

f i e d as one i n d i v i d u a l — an id e a l man.

Keil i n t e r p r e t e d t h i s passage (vss. 1-10} as applying to

h i s t o r i c a l events t h a t occurred in Tyre in the s ix th century B.C.:

"The th r e a t a p p l ie s , not to the one k in g , I t h o b a l , who was reign ing

a t the time o f the siege o f Tyre by the Chaldeans, but to the

'C a l v in , I s a i a h , 1:442.
2
W. J. Schroeder, Der Prophet H e z e k i e l , Lange Bibelwerk
( B i e l e f e l d und L e ip z ig : Velhagand und K la s in g , 187 3 ), p. 260.

"^Patrick F a i r b a i r n , Ezekiel and the Bock o f His Prophecy:


An Exposition (Edinburgh: T. & T. C la r k , 1876), pp. 306-8, 314.

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40

King as the founder and c r e a to r o f the might o f Tyre. . . .

Concerning the lament (vss. 1 2 -1 9 ), Keil says Ezekiel com­

pares the s it u a t io n of the prince of Tyre w ith th a t of the f i r s t

man in P aradise; drawing in vss. 15, 16 a comparison between the

fa ll o f the King of Tyre and the f a l l o f Adam.

Keil dedicates nine pages o f his commentary to c i t i n g

a n c ie n t sources with which he t r i e s to e x p la in the f u l f i l l m e n t o f

t h i s prophecy about Tyre, from the famous t h i r t e e n - y e a r siege by

Nebuchadnezzar, the stru g g le o f Alexander the Great to overcome


2
it, e tc . In the end, he says, the prophecy f i n a l l y was f u l f i l l e d .

At the close o f the n ine te enth century B e rth o le t saw th is

passage not as r e f e r r i n g to an in d iv id u a l but merely to a ty p ic a l

in d iv id u a l who represents T y re's s in ; his g u i l t is th a t o f con­

s id e r in g him self a god. For him the paradise conception is the

same here as th a t in Gen 3, and thus i t probably was borrowed

from t h a t source.^

Toy affirm ed t h a t "the prophet had before him not the l a t t e r

(Gen 2 ) , but a f u l l e r Babylonian n a r r a t i v e , out of which that in


4
Genesis also was probably drawn up"; and i n te r p r e t e d the Cherub as

^K. F. K e i l, The Prophecies o f E z e k i e l , BCOT (Grand Rapids:


Eerdmans, 1952 [ f i r s t e d . , 1 3 7 7 ] ) , p. 408.

2 Ib id ., pp. 417-25.

2A B e r th o le t, Das Buch H e s e k ie l, KHC (L e ip z ig : J. C. Mohr,


1 8 9 7 ), pp. 147-49.

4 C. H. Toy, The Book o f the Prophet E z e k i e l , SBOT 12 (New


York: Dodd, Mead. & C o . , 1899), p. 154; he adds th a t “the Jewish
e x i l e s in Babylonia, however, appear to have tr a n s fe rr e d Paradise
to the sources of the Euphrates and T i g r i s in the n o rth , because
they b e lie v e d th a t God dw elt in the n o rth , and not, as o f o ld , a t
Horeb. C f . , the notes on Ezek 1 : 4 , Isa 1 4 :1 3 , and Jastrow, Re 1iq io n
o f Babylonia and Assyria (Boston, 1 8 9 8 ), pp. 5 06 ,5 7 7 " (p . 15TT

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41

guardian, not as the king. Kraetzschmar viewed the passage as an

im agina tiv e handling o f the Paradise story by E z e k i e l J while

Gunkel c a l l s i t an o ld e r and more mythological recension than

Gen 2 - 3 . 2

The Twentieth Century

By the beginning o f the tw e n tie th century most i n t e r p r e t e r s

held the hypothesis th a t the I s r a e l i t e and neighboring peoples

probably knew an a ncie nt myth from which these two passages (Ezek

and Gen) d e riv e d . Both o f these Hebrew w r i t e r s are thought to

have adapted the legend o f a glorious being who dw elt in a Paradise

to t h e i r purposes, which e x p la in s the s i m i l a r i t i e s in the accounts.^

One o f the commentators r e p re s e n ta tiv e o f th is group is John

S kinner, who in 1908 wrote th a t “the king here is simply the


4
r e p re s e n ta tiv e of the genius of the community." Skinner held th a t

the Prince in vss. 1-10 is conceived as a man, and the King in

vss. 11-19 appears as an a n g e lic being, an in h a b it a n t of Eden, and

^R. Kraetzschmar, Das Buch E z e c h ie l, HAT (G ottin gen: Vanden-


hoeck, Ruprecht, 1900), p. 217.
2
H. Gunkel, Genesis GHK (G ottingen: Vandenhoeck, Ruprecht,
1 9 0 1 ), pp. 34.

.. 2 See, e . g . , 0. Procksch, Geschichtsbetrachtung und geschicht-


l i c h e U b e rlie fe ru n g bei den V o rexilischen Propheten (L e ip z ig : J!
C. H in r ic h s , 1 902), pp. 161-64; and A. A. Bevan, "The King o f lyre in
Ezek X X V I I I , " JTS 4 (1 9 0 2 -1 9 0 3 ):5 0 0 -0 5 , who held s i m i l a r id e as , and
a f f i r m s th a t "the legend o f the primeval garden served to exp la in
the decorations o f the Sanctuary, and the Sanctuary, in i t s tu r n ,
seemed to an u n c r i t i c a l age a standing witness to the t r u t h o f the
legend. . . . The fu nctions ascribed to the l i v i n g Cherub in Para­
d ise may, by a very n a tu ra l fig u r e o f speech, be ascribed also to
the symbolical Cherub in the Tyrian Temple."

John Skinner, The Book o f E z e k i e l , Exp B 13 (New York:


A. G. Armstrong and Son, 1 9 0 8 ), p. 252.

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42

a companion of the Cherub, sin le s s a t f i r s t and f a l l i n g from his

high s ta te through his own transgression. " . . . The passage only

clothes in forms drawn from Babylonian mythology the boundless

s e l f - g l o r i f i c a t i o n o f T y re ." * According to Skinner, Ezekiel must

have obtained a knowledge o f some fragments o f these mythical notions


2
during his sojourn in Babylon. Several authors have suggested

mythological o r ig in s f o r the passage such as "a theomachy or

Titanomachy s im i l a r to the Hurrian and Greek versions";'* the myth


4
of Prometheus; but except f o r the mentioned Prometheus myth, no

myths have been presented upon which the a llu s io n s are based.^

Most tw e n tie th -c e n tu r y scholars see t h i s passage in E z e k ie l,

to a g r e a te r or le s s e r degree, as derived from or r e f l e c t i n g the


6
Genesis n a r r a t iv e .

1 I b i d . , p. 253. 2 Ib id . , p. 257. 3 Pope, El_, p. 103.

4 T. G aster, Myth, Legend and Custom in the Old Testament


(New York: Harper and Row P ub lis h e rs, 1 9 6 9 ), pp. 322-23.

5 C f. McKenzie, JBL 75 (1 9 5 6 ):3 2 2 -2 3 .

^A. B. Davidson and A. W. Streane, The Book o f E z e k i e l ,


CBSC (Cambridge: U n i v e r s i t y ° r e s s , 1 9 1 6 ), p. 223; J. Herrmann,
Ezekiel u b e rs e tzt und e r k l a r t , KAT 11 (L e ip z ig : A. Deichertsche
Werner S c h o ll, 1 9 2 4 ), p. 182; N. P. W illia m s , The Ideas o f the F a l l ,
p. 56; G. A. Cooke, The Book o f E z e k i e l , ICC (Edinburgh: T. & T.
C la r k , 1 93 6 ), pp. 313-20. A. B e r th o le t ( " H e s e k i e l , “ HAT [Tubingen:
J. C. B. Mohr (Paul S ie b e c k ), 1 936], pp. 102, 103) viewed the
passage as a p a r a l l e l o f the Paradise s to ry o f Gen 3, but i t seems
to p r o je c t a much o ld e r mythic s e t tin g o f in d iv id u a l fe a tu r e s . He
presents a series o f mythical scenes which he says Ezekiel i n t e r ­
mingles w ith the p e r s o n a lity o f the king o f Tyre as. a p e r s o n i f i ­
cation o f the mercenary c r e a tu r e . See also J. H. Kroeze, "The Tyre-
Passages in the Book o f E z e k i e l, " in Studies on the Book o f Ezekiel
(P re to ria : U n iv e r s ity Press, 1 961), 10-23; D. M. G. S t a lk e r ,
E z e k i e l , TBC (London: SCM Press, 1 96 8 ), p. 216. J. W. Wevers,
E z e k i e l , NC8 (London: Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1 96 9 ), pp. 213-19,
thinks vss. 1 - 1 0 are almost fre e from m ythological overtones and
are "a judgment a g a in s t the c i t y as p e r s o n ifie d under the fig u r e o f
i t s k in g ," vss. 11-19 deal w ith the person o f the king, and must
r e f e r to I t t o b a a l . The Paradise myth can be seen behind th is

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43
l ?
In 1954 J. L. McKenzie, fo llo w in g Cooke, took the p o s itio n

th a t Ezek 2 8 :12 -1 8 contains a v a r i a n t form of the t r a d i t i o n which

appears in Gen 2 -3 . He admits " in d is p u ta b ly common fe a tu re s " n

the two passages but recognizes some remarkable divergences.^

passage, but the lament has been considerably expanded. Wevers


t r i e s to recover the o r i g i n a l t e x t by removing what he thinks were
re d a c to r ia l i n s e r t i o n s . W alther E ic h ro d t, E z e k i e l , OTL (London:
SCM Press, 1 9 7 0 ), p. 392, has the opinion th a t the passage is
c lo s e ly real ted to the s to ry o f Gen 2 - 3 , but Ezek 28 has c le a r
traces of i t s heathen o r i g i n . This suggests oth e r t r a d i t i o n s
besides the Paradise s to ry which were known to Is ra e l and d e a lt
w ith the beginnings o f the human race. C. Westermann, Genesis,
BKAT (Neukirchen-VIuyn: Neukirchener V erla g , 1 97 0 ), p. 335,
recognizes s i m i l a r i t i e s and sees more mythical elements in the
E zekelian passage than in Genesis. Walther Zim m erli, E z e k i e l ,
2 :9 0 , 91, 95, b e lie v e s t h a t the passage deals w ith the person o f
the f i r s t mar. and sees in the t e x t a kind o f o ld e r form of the
paradise t r a d i t i o n ; the c l e a r d i s t i n c t i o n the passage makes of
c re a tu re and C re a to r shows i t s Yawehist s a t u r a t io n . Like Wevers,
he sees re d a c tio n a l in s e r tio n s in several pa rts o f the t e x t and
makes an attem pt to remove then so the o r i g i n a l can be recovered.
He applies the lament to the king o f Tyre, where he is compared to
a mythical f i g u r e ; but a t the same time he thinks th a t i t was tr a n s ­
formed by a p o s t - e x i l i c i n t e r p r e t e r to a permanent paradigm (p.
6 8 9 ). Norman C. Habel, "E zekiel 28 and the F a ll o f the F i r s t
Man," CTM 38 (1 9 6 7 ):5 1 6 - 2 4 , b e lie v e s Ezek 28:12-19 is a "reformu­
l a t i o n of a F a ll t r a d i t i o n in terms which are meaningful and
appropriate f o r the Tyre s it u a t i o n o f the time o f E z e k ie l. E zekiel
made the F a ll event r e le v a n t f o r the king o f Tyre by describing
the downfall o f th a t king as though he were the f i r s t man" (p. 5 23).

^J. L. McKenzie, "The L i t e r a r y C h a r a c te r is tic s of Gen 2 - 3 , "


TS 15 (1 9 5 4 ):5 3 1 —53. In an a r t i c l e McKenzie wrote two years l a t e r
^ M y th o lo g ic a l A llu s io n s in Ezek 2 8 : 1 2 -1 8 ," JBL 75 [ 1 9 5 6 ] : 3 2 2 - 2 7 ) ,
he again c r i t i c i z e s the authors who say Ezekiel " e i t h e r recounts a
fo re ig n myth or allu d e s to one" but c i t e no myth upon which the
a llu s io n s are based. He concludes by r e s t a t i n g his previous view
th a t Ezek 2 8 :1 -1 8 "has more points o f contact w ith the Paradise
s to ry than w ith any o th e r b i b l i c a l passage or w ith any known
mythological p a tte r n " (pp. 322, 3 27).

^E zek ie l , p. 313.

^Cf. Ernst Haag, Der Mensch am Anfanq, TTS 24 ( T r i e r :


Paulinus V e r la g , 1970), pp. 7 3 -1 0 0 , who has made a d e t a ile d study
o f Gen 2 -3 , comparing i t to Ezek 2 8:1 -1 9 ( e s p e c i a l l y vss. 12-16)
a r r i v i n g a t the conclusion t h a t the a ffir m a tio n s o f Genesis have
d i r e c t l y furnished the s t r u c t u r a l p r i n c i p l e f o r E z e k ie l's prophetic
u tte ra n c e s , Ezek 28 being a re al v a r i a n t o f the Yahwistic o r i g i n a l
form.

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44

A f t e r c r i t i c i z i n g some aspects of the views o f KraetzschmarJ


2 3 - 4
Gunkel, Cooke, and Holscher, McKenzie stressed the s u p e r io r ity

o f the Hebrew account in comparison to the Mesopotamian cosmogony

and affirm ed t h a t there is a s im ila r c i r c l e o f ideas in which the

Hebrew account and Mesopotamian mythology move; there was a general

common knowledge about the paradise s to ry among the Semitic peoples.

He views the f i g u r e in vss. 12-19 as no more than a human one.^

G. Fohrer*’ holds the view th a t the myth o f the- Garden of

Elohim is o r i g i n a l l y from Mesopotamia, and th a t l a t e r i t was i d e n t i ­

f i e d with Eden in I s r a e l i t e t r a d i t i o n . He also thinks Ezekiel may

have been enriched by the Canaanite-Phoenician myth with Babylonian

m otifs or v i c e - v e r s a . 7 Herbert G. May b e lieves th a t the Ezekelian

1 E z e c h i e l , p. 217; Kraetzschmar thinks th a t th is passage is


an im aginative handling by Ezekiel o f the paradise sto ry .

"Genesis, p. 34; Gunkel has c a lle d Ezek 28 an o ld e r and


more mythological recension than Gen 2 -3 .

^Ezekiel , p. 313; Cooke b e lie v e s th a t "the f o l k l o r e upon


which Ezekiel drew had been steeped in Babylonian mythology from
e a r l y tim es."

4 G. Holscher, H e s e k ie l, der D ic h te r und das Buch, 8 ZAW 39


(Giessen: A l f r e d Topelmann, 1 924), p. 142, held th a t the m a te ria l
was a Babylonian myth.

^McKenzie, "Mythological A llu s io n s ," pp. 232-24; "The


L i t e r a r y C h a r a c t e r is t ic s o f Genesis 2 - 3 , " TS 15 (1 9 5 4 ):5 5 2 . Cf.
Herbert' G. May, "The King in the Garden o f Eden: A Study of
Ezekiel 2 8 : 1 2 -1 9 ," in I s r a e l ’ s Prophetic H e rita g e (New York:
Harper & B ro th e rs , 1 9 6 2 ), p. 168.

^Georq Fohrer, E z e c h ie l, HAT 13 (Tubinqen: J. C. B. Mohr


[P. Siebeck], 1 9 5 5 ), p. 162.

7 McKenzie, "Mythological A llu s io n s ," pp. 322-23, disagrees


w ith Fohrer, saying th a t although the e xistence c f mythological
a llu s io n s in the OT cannot be denied, "experience shows t h a t i t is
r a r e l y p o s s ib le , i f e v e r , to re co n s tru c t these myths from b i b l i c a l
a llu s io n s alone w ith any degree o f accuracy."

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45

passage must have been based on a story o f a royal f i r s t man and

"Adam1' who was k in g J

Kalman Yaron has published a d e t a il e d a r t i c l e on Ezek 28:

1 2-19 , in which he s t a r t s with the c ru c ia l question concerning

whether the d w e lle r in the Garden o f God was a Cherub (MT) and

i f the Cherub (reading vss. 14-16 with the LXX) plays the same ro le
2
as i t does in Gen 3 :2 4. He holds th a t i t is important to determine

the fu n c tio n of the Cherub in order to c o r r e c t l y i n t e r p r e t th is

passage.

At the end o f his a r t i c l e Yaron concludes, "in opposition

to McKenzie and in agreement w ith Pope, th a t the a lle g o ry de sc ribing

the descent o f the Prince o f Tyre to the p i t is b u i l t o f e x a c t ly

the same elements as the Phoenician epic o f E l , and does not f i t

any le s s e r godlike being, such as the cherub."^ He finds th a t the

d w e lle r o f the Garden o f God was modeled a f t e r the p a ttern o f

the "kingship ideology" o f the Ancient Near E ast, i . e . , the king-

p r ie s t, etc . He also admits th a t E z e k i e l's ideas are in accordance

w ith the m onotheistic sto ry o f the Garden o f Eden.

In his commentary on Ezek 2 6-28 , Van D i j k c l e a r l y sets

h im s e lf on the side o f MT when exegeting 2 8:1 4 -1 6 . He i d e n t i f i e s

H e r b e r t G. May, "The King in the Garden," pp. 169-76. For


more on the king ideology or a royal f i r s t man, see Aage Bentzen,
King and Messiah (London: Lutterw orth Press, 1 955), pp. 17-18;
"King Ideology— 'Urmensch'— 'T r o o n s b e s t if g i n g s f e e s t '," ST 2
( 1 9 5 0 ):1 5 2 ; Sigmund Mowinckel, "Urmensch und ‘ K o n ig s id eo lo g ie 1," ST
2 (1 9 4 9 ): 8 3 f f .

^Kalman Yaron, "The Dirge over the King of Tyre," ASTI 3


( 1 9 6 4 ) :2 8 -5 7.

^ I b i d . , p. 54. See M ullen, p. 242, who c r i t i c i z e s Pope's


and consequently Yaron's p o s itio n on the m a tte r. See above p. 27,
n. 3.

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46

the Cherub w ith the king of Tyre or w ith - f i t ~ of vs. 12.^

Although Van D i j k does not e x p l i c i t l y i d e n t i f y the main f i g u r e of

the passage, he quotes C o r n i l l ' s thought: “For most e v id e n t ly the

prince is presented as a f a l l e n a n g e l," which he says is "a very


2
re le v a n t suggestion."

O hler contends th a t the passage is an independent myth

which serves as an i l l u s t r a t i o n o f the thre a te ning o f the downfall

o f the c i t y o f Tyre. God cast down from the heavenly realm to the

e a r t h , a special c reature who, on account o f his p r id e , had sinned.

The prophet could be applying to Tyre an old I s r a e l i t e teaching

concerning the f a l l of a special being which found expression in

the myth. What may be r e la te d to the pagan notions about oth e r gods,

the w r i t e r ascribes to Yahweh.^

0. Sowan compared a lle g e d mythological themes— as he did

concerning Isa 1 4 :12 -1 5 — with s i m i l a r themes found in o th e r r e la te d

c u ltu re s . 4 From his comparison he a r r iv e d a t the conclusion th a t

the paradise myth in i t s p a r t i c u l a r Hebrew form was the main source

of a ll the m a te r ia ls the prophet presented. He re je c te d any sug­

gestion t h a t Ezekiel was quoting a l o s t Phoenician myth. Both

passages, Isa 14 and Ezek 28, have to do— in Gowan's view— w ith

cases o f h y b r is , when man wants to become God. He also r e je c ts

any i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f those passages which would r e l a t e them to

the f a l l o f angels.

^H. J. van D i j k , E z e k i e l 's Prophecy on T y r e , BO 20 (Rome:


P o n t i f i c a l B i b l i c a l I n s t i t u t e , 1 9 6 8 ). p. 114.
2 3
Ib id . Mytholoqische Elemente, pp. 173-75.
A
When Man Becomes God, pp. 19-25.

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47

A f t e r discussing the views o f several scholars who wrote

from the end of the nineteenth century to the p re se n t, Williams

r e c e n tly wrote concerning th is passage:

I t may be th a t in t h i s passage we have less a d e r iv a tio n from


a f u l l y contained o r i g i n a l t a l e but more a combination of
elements from the t r a d i t i o n s o f the tim e, mythological as well
as contemporary, used to make a s a t i r i c a l a tta c k a g ain s t an
important f i g u r e u t i l i z i n g phraseology which was w ell known
a t the t i m e . '

Thus an a l t e r n a t i v e e x p la n a tio n of Ez 28:12-19 is th a t i t


is not taken from a lo s t myth o f a primeval being or even th a t
i t is a f u l l e r version o f the Genesis 2-3 s to r y . Rather i t is
a c a s tig a tio n o f the Tyrian r u l e r on the grounds o f his hubris
in commercial a c t i v i t i e s and his p a r t i c i p a t i o n in the local
sanctuary r i t e s o f sacral k in g s h ip . With fir m use o f i l l u s ­
t r a t i v e metaphor the prophet d r iv e s home his a t t a c k using
language and terms e a s i l y understandable a t the tim e . If
anything t h i s should serve to show th a t he is not so much
bound by the m a te ria l he is using as employing i t in an
im aginative way f o r his own purposes . 2

As he did w ith Isa 14, Lo re tz makes a s tic h o m e tric an aly s is

o f the poem o f Ezek 2 8 :1 -1 9 .^ A f t e r examining the passage in th is

way, he has s elected some phrases upon which ne b e lie v e s the

o racle was based. The connection between the basic o r i g i n a l m a te ria l

from the myth o f c r e a tio n o f man and the king took place l a t e r .

The presence o f the paradise myth in the Tyre o ra c le points out an

a b i l i t y o f the prophet to in c o rp o rate new m a t e r i a l . F i n a l l y Loretz

thinks t h a t a p o s t - e x i l i c i n t e r p r e t e r transformed the d i r e c t l y

impending events in to a permanent paradigm. He adds: "Die

v e r s ta r k t e Hereinnahme des Mythos d ie n t der Auswetung der

^Anthony J . W illia m s , "The Mythological Background of


Ezekiel 28:12-19?" BTB 6 (1 9 7 6 ):5 4 .

c I b i d . , pp. 6 0-61.

^0. L o r e tz , "Der Sturz des Fursten von Tyrus (Ez 2 8 : 1 - 1 9 ) , "


UF 8 (1 9 7 6 ):4 5 5 - 5 8 .

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48

Vorlage iiber e in h is to r is c h begrenztes Anliegen hinaus."^


2
Some scholars have advanced the view th a t Ezek 28:12-19

has to do w ith aspects o f the Tyrian r e l i g i o n and i t s temple, and

th a t the c ity -g o d Mel k a r t was meant by the King o f Tyre.

F i n a l l y , there e x i s t s a very small group o f scholars who

apply the passage e s p e c i a l l y to Satan and/or to the a n t i c h r i s t

t y p o l o g i c a l l y , as did the Church Fathers. They do not deny th a t

the n a r r a t iv e has some h i s t o r i c a l bearing, but they say th a t Ezekiel

discerned behind the e a r t h l y monarch a t t i t u d e s o f the m otivating

force and p e r s o n a lity t h a t were im pelling him in his opposition to

God. Those commentators u s u a lly r e s i s t the idea o f any im portation

of a fo r e ig n mythology or pagan legends in to the t e x t . Among those

theologians are C hafer,^ Fausset,^ SDABC,^ I r o n s id e ,^ S c o f i e l d , ' 7 and

1Ib id ., p. 458.

^Bevan, "The King o f Tyre," d d . 5 0 0 -5 ; Cameron Mackay, "The


King o f T y re ," CQR 117 (1 9 3 4 ):2 3 9 -5 8 ; J. Dus, "Melek S5r-Melqart?
(Zur I n t e r p r e t a t i o n von Ezek 2 8 : 1 1 -1 9 )," ArOr 26 (1 9 5 8 ):1 7 9 -8 5 ; see
also Steven R. P u lle y , "The Qinah concerning the King o f Tyre in
Ezekiel 28:11-19" (M .D iv. th e s is , Grace Theological Seminary, 1 98 2 ),
pp. 2 2 -2 5 , f o r discussion o f the view and b ib lio g r a p h y on the m a tte r.

^Systematic Theology, 2 :3 9-44 .

^A. R. Fausset, The Book of the Prophet E z e k i e l , CONT (Grand


Rapids: Eerdmans, 1 9 4 5 ), 4:309.

5,1 King o f Tyrus" [Ezek 2 8 : 1 2 ], SDABC, ( 1 9 5 3 - 5 7 ) , 4:675.

^I s a i a h , pp. 8 8 -8 9 . Ironside b e lie v e s t h a t the words o f


th is passage "cannot apply to any mortal man," and t h a t the Cherub
of Ezek 28 is L u c ife r o f Isa 14. He was the g r e a t e s t o f a l l angels
and p e r f e c t , t i l l he f e l l through p rid e .

7 C. I . S c o f ie ld , The New S cofield Reference B ib le (Oxford:


Oxford U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1 9 6 7 ), comments on Ezek 2 8 :1 2 -1 7 . He says:
"Here, as in Isa 1 4 :1 2 , the language goes beyond the king o f
Tyre to Satan. . . . The u n fa lle n s t a t e o f Satan is here
d escribed; his f a l l in Isa 14:12 -1 4 . But more is here. The
v is io n is not o f Satan in his own person, but o f Satan f u l f i l l i n g

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49

F e in b e r g J This l a t t e r w r i t e r is one o f the few contemporary

theologians who goes a g a in s t the mainstream in the i n t e r p r e ­

t a t i o n of t h i s passage. Feinberg s tro n g ly r e s i s t s the views

which say t h a t ( 1 ) there is in th is chapter an i n t e r p r e t a t io n of

fo r e ig n mythology or pagan legends; (2 ) E zekiel was fo llo w in g a

f r e e im agin a tio n ; (3) the n a r r a t iv e behind the prophecy was

supposed to be an a d aptatio n o f the paradise s tory in Genesis; and

( 4 ) the prophet made use o f irony in p resenting his prophecy or

lament. On the other hand, Feinberg takes h is side on the i n t e r ­

p r e t a t io n o f the passage stre ss in g th a t ( 1 ) i t is impossible, by

any s tr e tc h o f the im a g in a tio n , to apply most o f the passage to any

e a r t h l y king; (2 ) the prophet saw the work o f Satan, whom the king

o f Tyre was emulating in so many ways; (3 ) the anointed Cherub was

none oth e r than Satan him se lf in his p o s itio n o f honor about the

throne of God; (4 ) only i f we admit the two previous items can the

passage be em inently i n t e l l i g i b l e and in p la c e .

Conclusions

crorr the survey ^ f Liie l i t e r a t u r e c o v e r iny trie in t e r p r e ­

t a t i o n o f the passages discussed above, several conclusions emerge:

Observations Concerning Isa 14

From the f i r s t century A . D . , when e x p l i c i t i n t e r p r e t a t io n s

o f the passage ( e s p e c i a l l y vss. 12-15) began to appear, through the

h im s e lf in and through an e a r t h l y king who arrogates to him­


s e l f d iv in e honors, so th a t the prince o f Tyrus foreshadows
the 3east (Dan 7 :8 ; Rev 1 9 : 2 0 ) ."

^E z e k i e l , pp. 158-64. C f. also G. T. Meadors, "The I d e n t i ­


f i c a t i o n of ~ nr? ' n 7 7 ^ ~ in Isa ia h 14:12" (M .D iv. th e s is , Grace
Theological Seminary, 1 9 7 6 ), pp. 46-65.

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50

era o f the e a r l y Church Fathers, through medieval tim e s , and up to

the beginning o f the Reformation, most o f the i n t e r p r e t e r s applie d

the passage as r e f e r r i n g to Satan. Jewish i n t e r p r e t e r s applied

i t as having to do w ith immediate h i s t o r i c a l events, such as the

oppression by Nebuchadnezzar.

The two g re a t reformers, Luther and C a lv in , broke w ith the

tra d itio n a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the f a th e r s and repudiated the idea

by applying the passage only in h i s t o r i c a l terms, i . e . , to the king

o f Babylon.

In the seventeenth c en tu ry, M ilto n and Bunyan, in t h e i r

w r i t i n g s , accepted the t r a d i t i o n a l view o f the Church ca th e rs .

New developments occurred in the study o f Isa 14 in the

nineteenth century when theologians s ta r te d seeing m ythical elements

in i t . By the end o f the century the passage had undergone more

d e t a il e d study on several aspects:

1. The nature of the passage. The lament form— which uses

the Qinah Meter— was detected.

2. The s tru c tu re o f the poem. The textual boundaries o f

the song had t e n t a t i v e l y been determined and i t s s tr o p h ic d iv is io n

had been suggested. Proposals about possible te x tu a l corru p tio n s

began to appear.

3. R e i d e n t i f i c a t i o n and r e l a t i o n s h i p s . New i d e n t i f i c a t i o n s

f o r the main f i g u r e o f the n a r r a t iv e had been suggested, and the

r e la t i o n s h i p o f the main elements in the passage to m ythic m a te r ia ls

was discussed.

4. The o r i g i n o f the m a t e r i a l . The possible r e la t i o n s h i p

between the passage and the r e l i g i o u s c u ltu r e and m ythic m a te ria l

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o f the F e r t i l e Crescent area was in v e s tig a te d by s c h o la rs . The

Pan-Babylonian approach was s tr o n g ly emphasized in t h i s search,

and a t e n t a t i v e reconstruction o f an o r ig in a l a s t r a l myth behind

i t was proposed. New dates f o r the poem l a t e r than the time o f

Isaiah were proposed. The i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the morning s t a r with

the Venus S ta r — i d e n t ic a l to the Greek Phaeton— has been held by

many scholars since the end o f the nineteenth c entury t i l l the

present time.

A f t e r the d iscoveries o f Ras-Shamra in 1929, the Pan-

Babylonian approach has been replaced by Pan-Ugaritism and a more

decided emphasis upon Canaanite sources in the background o f th is

work. With i t has come a tendency to i n t e r p r e t the passage in the

l i g h t of th a t m a t e r i a l . The Phoenician model has a t t r a c t e d most

theologians but South Arabic and Greek p a r a l l e ls have also been

suggested.

On the o the r hand, the tw e n tie th century has produced many

scnolars who continue to defend the e a r l i e r p o s itio n o f the Church

Fathers; nor has i t lacked those who apply the passage to the work

o f the a n t i c h r i s t throughout the ages, past and f u t u r e .

Summarizing the examination o f the main body o f l i t e r a t u r e

on the m a tte r , we p re s e n tly have several views concerning the

i n t e r p r e t a t io n of the taunt a g a in s t the King o f Babylon in Isa 14

(e s p e c i a l l y vss. 1 2 -1 5 ):

1. The lament c o n s t itu te s a pure myth^ o f C a n a an ite -

i
'Among the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s o f Helel and Shahar we f i n d th a t
they are i d e n t i f i e d w ith : ( 1 ) d i f f e r e n t aspects o f the moon, ( 2 )
d i f f e r e n t aspects o f the sun, ( 3 ) Helel is i d e n t i f i e d w ith J u p i t e r ,
(4 ) Helel is i d e n t i f i e d with Venus (Greek Phaeton and South
Arabian A t h t a r ) , the b r ig h te s t s t a r in the morning.

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52

I s r a e l i t e s e ttin g w ith Arabic and Greek in flu e n ce . This idea was

f i r s t introduced in to the t e x t with the f a l l of Babylon and i t was

applied to th a t eve n t. In t h i s , the f a l l of Babylon or the king of

Babylon has been compared to the f a l l o f H e le l. Some in t e r p r e t e r s

o f th is school o f thought hold th a t "the myth no longer has a l i f e

o f i t s own but belongs to the treasurehouse o f p o e try , on which

poets and prophets lik e d to draw in order to clothe t h e i r thoughts

in ric h a p p a r e l.'1^

2. The passage also has an h i s t o r i c a l sense. Although

fragments o f mythic nature can be found in the lament, the compo­

s it i o n is I s a i a n i c , and the message o f the passage has some bearing

on a h i s t o r i c a l f i g u r e — Sargon I I and others have been suggested.

3. The passage can be applied l i t e r a l l y to immediate

h i s t o r i c a l events, but i t can also be considered symbolic o f what

happened, is happening, and w i l l happen in a cosmic s tru g g le between

God and Satan, between good and e v i l . Human agents are shown as

carry in g on such a struggle in some b i b l i c a l passages, but in th is

passage the mastermind o f the cosmic war is c l e a r l y emphasized. In

other words,

Behind such a lle g e d only i l l u s t r a t i v e tr a n s fe r a b le phrases,


there is much more, and with i t we get in the domain o f myth.
Such a myth a p p lie s to a f i n a l l y enigmatic i n c i d e n t , to a
demonic, to a godly event, which illu m in a te s the foregrouna
and background o f the h is to r y o f the doings of m a n k i n d . 2

The number o f d i f f e r e n t shades o f meaning adopted by

various i n t e r p r e t e r s in these three schools of thought can be

m u l t i p l i e d , but a l l o f them b a s i c a ll y belong to one o r another

o f these main views.

^ E ichrodt, Theology, 2:115.

^K. L. Schmidt, " L u c i f e r ," pp. 161-79.

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53

Observations Concerning Ezekiel 28

The Ezekelian passage ( e s p e c i a l l y vss. 12-19) has, from

the time o f Origen to the Reformation, been associated w ith th a t

of Isa 14 and applied to Satan. The main exceptions to th is view

have been those o f some Jewish commentators who applied i t to Hiram

of T y re , Nebuchadnezzar, or to Adam and Eve in the Garden o f Eden.

From the time o f the Reformation to the beginning of the

nineteenth century, the view of the Church Fathers was held. From

the second h a l f o f the nineteenth century t i l l the pre se n t, i n t e r ­

p re te rs have developed the follo w in g trends and views.

1. One small group has follow ed the view o f the Church

Fathers and apply the passage e s p e c i a l l y to Satan and/or the

a n tic h ris t ty p o lo g ic a lly . This group admits th a t the n a r r a t iv e

has some h i s t o r i c a l be aring, but the main o b je c tiv e of the passage

transcends the h i s t o r i c a l re a lity .

2. A second group says the passage is a p oetic lamentation

which has to do only with the king o f Tyre or the c i t y o f Tyre

its e lf.

3. The t h i r d group, the one which is followed by the m a jo r i t y

of modern i n t e r p r e t e r s , sees the passage as r e la te d to the Paradise

n a r r a t iv e of Gen 2 - 3 . This point o f view has been developed with

several d i f f e r e n t m o d ific a tio n s :

a. I t is borrowed d i r e c t l y from the Paradise n a r­

r a t i v e — a comparison between the f a l l o f Adam and the f a l l

o f Tyre has developed from t h i s id e a.

b. The prophet had in mind a known Babylonian myth

from which the Paradise s to ry o f Genesis and the Ezekelian

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54

passage d e riv e d — th is was applied to Tyrian s e l f - g l o r i f i ­

c a tio n .

c. Although d e t a il s of E z e k i e l 's ideas are in

accordance w ith the monotheistic s to r y o f the Garden o f

Eden, the account is b u i l t r a t h e r upon the same elements

as the Phoenician epic of E l— the d w e lle r in the garden

o f God being modeled a f t e r the p a tte r n of the "royal

ideology" o f the ancient Near East.

d. There is a c i r c l e of ideas in which the Hebrew

account and Mesopotamian mythology move and a g e n e r a lly

common knowledge about the Paradise s to ry among the Sem itic

peoples— from th is m i l li e u E z e k i e l 's account d e riv e d .

4. The fo u r th group believes the passage is an independent

myth which serves as an i l l u s t r a t i o n o f the t h r e a t of the impending

downfall o f the c i t y o f Tyre. The prophet is here applying to Tyre

an old I s r a e l i t e teaching concerning a s p ec ia l creature who was

cast down from the heavenly realm, an idea which also found expres­

sion in myth.

There i s , o f course, a ra th e r broad v a r ia tio n in the d e t a i l s

expressed by d i f f e r e n t in te r p r e te r s o f the passage, but the ones

expressed above represent the main spectrum o f the most re p re ­

s e n ta tiv e views.

Aim and Plan of the Study

The main reason f o r our research on these two passages is to

determine the degree to which they r e l a t e to the o r ig in o f e v i l .

From the survey o f the l i t e r a t u r e on the i n t e r p r e t a t io n o f these

passages from the beginning o f the C h r i s t i a n era to the present tim e,

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55

a re la te d problem has emerged: We a re f a r from having developed

consensus on the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of these passages. A v a rie ty o f

views represents the th in k in g on such m u ltip le topics as:

( 1 ) o rig in s o f the m a t e r i a l ; ( 2 ) d a tin g o f the lament in i t s pre se n t

form; (3 ) i d e n t i f i c a t i o n o f the f i g u r e s , p laces, and expressions;

and (4 ) the o r i g i n a l form o f the t e x t as produced by the b i b l i c a l

w rite r.

Since a g re at number of scholars in the 1980s b e lie v e t h a t

these two texts have more or less drawn t h e i r ideas and content from

mythical m a te ria l o f the nations in the F e r t i l e Crescent, a u s efu l

approach is to commence t h i s study w ith an examination of those

e x t r a - b i b l i c a l m a te ria ls and to compare them w ith b i b l ic a l n a r r a ­

tiv es to determine i f the authors drank d i r e c t l y from s im i l a r

l i t e r a r y sources o f the a n c ie n t Near East and i f there was a common

b e l i e f about t h i s subject among peoples o f th a t world. Such an

examination can also look a t other I s r a e l i t e te x ts to see i f th e re

was a p a r t i c u l a r I s r a e l i t e background form which the te x ts s p e c i f i ­

c a l l y emerged. Chapter 2 is dedicated to th a t task.

In chapter 3 the passages are exegeted. The t e x t , s t r u c t u r e ,

and context o f these two main passages are then examined in d e t a i l

in order to determ ine, as f a r as p o s s ib le , the most o r i g i n a l form

o f the t e x t .

Based on a l i n g u i s t i c and h i s t o r i c a l approach, an a tte m p t is

made to determine whether the t e x t should be understood in the

immediate h i s t o r i c a l c o n te x t, p r o p h e t i c a l l y — o r e s c h a t o lo g ic a lly —

or both. A comparative study of the two passages is c a r r ie d o ut to

determine whether the claim made by some commentators th a t " L u c if e r "

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56

and the "Guardian Cherub" are the same personage is accurate or not.

An e f f o r t is also made to d is co v e r, as f a r as possible w ith in

reasonable l i m i t s , the s ig n ific a n c e of the th e o lo g ic a l content of the

passages in r e l a t i o n to t h e i r re spective prophetic books. The

context of the whole S c rip tu re s — Old and New Testaments— is also kept

in view in th is process o f c arrying out t h i s examination o f these

p a r t i c u l a r passages.

In view of the problems raised in the in tr o d u c tio n and the

above review o f l i t e r a t u r e , the plan o f study presented above is

j u s t i f i e d , e s p e c i a l l y since a d i s s e r t a t i o n , as f a r as can be

determined, has not been w r itte n which studies these two passages

together w ith the emphases and d ir e c tio n s described above.

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CHAPTER I I

ORIGINS AND PARALLEL HYPOTHESES CONCERNING THE


ORACLES AGAINST THE KING OF BABYLON AND THE
PRINCE AND KING OF TYRE

As noted in chapter 1, B ible i n t e r p r e t e r s , s ta r tin g with

the Church Fa the rs, perceived the s im ila r nature of the passages

studied in t h i s work and began to r e la t e them to each o ther.

L a te r they in te r p r e te d the passages in two main ways: (1 ) in the

context o f immediate h i s t o r i c a l events and ( 2 ) f i g u r a t i v e l y -

having ty p o lo g ic a l meaning.

Modern scholars and commentators^ have seen these pas­

sages ( I s a 14 and Ezek 2 8 ) , to some e x te n t, as a borrowing from

a ncie nt myths, bringing them from e x t r a - b i b l i c a l or b i b l ic a l sources.

^See above, pp. 15-16; 40-44.


2
Scholars agree th a t i t was Bishop Robert Lowth who in 1753
( De Sacra Poesi Hebraeorum [ O x i n i i : E. Typogratheo Clarendoniano,
1753J, p. 2 5 2 ), w ith his idea o f S tilu s P a ra b o lic u s , opened the
way f o r the concept o f myth in to b i b l i c a l study. Cf. C h ris tia n
H a r t l i c h and W a lte r Sachs, Per Ursprunq des Mythosbeqriffes in der
modernen B ib e lw is se n s ch aft, SSEA, 2 (Tubingen: J. C. B. Mohr [Paul
SiebeckJ, 1 952), pp. 6 -1 0. H a r t l i c h and Sachs have made an h i s t o r ­
ic a l in v e s t ig a t io n of the myths r e la te d to the b i b l i c a l m a te ria l
from Lowth (1753) u n t i l the middle o f th is c en tu ry. See also G.
Henton Davies, "An Approach to the Problem o f Old Testament Mythology
PEQ 88 ( 1 9 5 6 ):8 3 -8 4 . The names o f J. G. Eichhorn and J. P. G abler—
who made studies o f mythology in the Old and New Testaments— should
be mentioned as scholars who s ta r te d seeing more c l e a r l y the myth
problem in the B ib le . See H a r t l i c h and Sachs (pp. 11-19) and G. L.
Bauer, who in 1802 produced his Hebraische Mytholoaie des A!ten und
Neuen Testaments (2 v o ls. [Leipzi"g"i Weygand, 1802J ) which became
a c la s s ic on the m atter u n t i l the present.

57

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58

1 2 3 4 5
Although Jenour, Alexander, Cheyne, Duhm, D e litz s c h , and others

had r e fe rre d to the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n o f Helel with Venus or some

astral body, i t was Herman Gunkel who c a t e g o r i c a l l y a ffirm e d th a t

we have here the Helal myth which was not o f I s r a e l i t e o r i g i n . ^

L a te r he t r i e d to reconstruct th a t myth and suggested some probable

places o f o r i g i n . ^ From Gunkel on several suggestions have appeared

th a t present myths from which the m a te r ia l o f Isa 14:12-15 and Ezek

2 8 :2 -1 9 might have o r ig in a t e d . I t is to the examination o f those

a lle g e d mythic o r ig in s or p a r a l l e l s o f passages--both e x t r a - b i b l i c a l

and b i b l i c a l — t h a t we now turn our study.

Methodology

In i n t e r p r e t in g passages o f the nature o f Isa 14, Ezek 28, and

oth e r re la te d passages such as Isa 27 and Ps 82, e t c . , scholars have

u s u a lly f a l l e n in to two extremes: One is d ic ta te d by the s o -c a lle d

"myth and r i t u a l " school which assigns these passages to and i n t e r p r e t s

them in the realm o f mythology and r i t u a l i s m ; the other is reoresented

by the group which sees the passages as fr e e from any in flu e n c e of


g
the c u ltu r a l m ilie u and any mythological overtones.

^ I s a i a h , p. 272. ^I s a i a h , p. 200.
3 4
The Prophecies o f I s a i a h , 1 :3 1 1 . J e s a ja , p. 90.

^I s a i a h , p. 119.

Schopfunq und Chaos, pp. 1 32-34. ^ Ib id . , p. 134.


g
Yehezkel Kaufmann ( The R e lig io n o f I s r a e l , tr a n s . Moshe
Greenberg [Chicago: U n iv e r s ity o f Chicago Press, 1 960], pp. 1 -4 )
seems to belong to th is group. For a d i f f e r e n t approach to the
m a tte r , see F. M. Cross, Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic. Essays
in the H istory o f the R e lig io n o f I s r a e l (Cambridge, MA: Harvard
U n iv e r s it y Press, 1973), pp. v i i - i x .

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Because o f the nature o f these passages, there probably

w ill always be some sense of u n c e r ta in ty concerning t h e i r f u l l and

complete meaning. Nevertheless some c o n tr o ls , i f applied in t h i s

in te rp re ta tio n , w ill help us to form ulate a reasonable under­

standing of these passages. Some p r i n c ip l e s or c ontrols which

should be observed in our methodology o f comparing Near Eastern

mythological m a te ria ls w ith the b i b l i c a l t e x t are as fo llo w s :

1. Ideas o f the OT should not be compared with mythological

m a te ria ls o f the a n cie n t Near East on the basis o f "occasional

s i m i l a r i t i e s " or c e r t a i n d e t a i l s , but by asking what place these

d e t a i l s occupy in the t o t a l s tru c tu re o f each r e li g i o n . ^

2. The c o n te xt should be respected in th a t excerDts from

the passages be not compared in i s o l a t i o n from the block o f t e x t


2
in which they are found.

3. The i n t e r p r e t e r should be aware o f the p o s s i b i l i t y th a t

"independent development o f analogical c u l t u r a l fe a tu re s '" ' could

have occurred, and t h a t although resemblances and p a r a l l e l s may

occur, the i n t r i n s i c meaning and a p p l i c a b i l i t y can conceivably be


4
com pletely d i f f e r e n t .

^See Helmer Ringgren, "Remarks on the Method of Comparative


Mythology," in Near Eastern Studies in Honor o f W. F. A lb r ig h t
(B a ltim o re : Johns Hopkins Press, 1 5 7 1 ), pp. 407-11. Cf. also
Claus Westermann, "Sinn und Grenze r e lig io n s g e s c h ic h t lic h e r
Para’. l e i e n , " TLZ 90 (1 9 6 5 ):4 9 0 -9 1 . Westermann contends f o r a
l i n e a r comparison r a t h e r than f o r a p u n c t i l i a r comparison in order
to c o r r e c t l y d e te c t any p a r a l l e l .

^Cf. Samuel Sandmel, "P arallelom ania ," JBl 31 (1 9 62 ):1 -1 3 .

^Cf. Nahum M. Sarna, Understanding Genesis (New York:


Jewish Theological Seminary, 1 965), pp. x x v i - x x v i i i .

4Cf. Avery D u lle s , "Symbol, Myth, and the B i b l i c a l R e v e la tio n ,


TS 27 (1 9 6 6 ):1 5 -1 7 ; John L. McKenzie, "Myth and the Old Testam ent,"
in Myths and R e a l i t i e s : Studies in B i b l i c a l Theology (Milwaukee:
Bruce Pub. Co., 1 9 6 3 ), p. 191.

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60

4. The i n t e r p r e t e r should be aware o f the fa c t

th a t c e r t a i n mythical elements can be present in various


mythologies w ithout the myths themselves being id e n tic a l as
to ta litie s . One element— which obviously must be supposed to
express a c e r t a in l i m it e d idea— can be combined with one set
o f elements in one r e l i g i o n and w ith o th e r sets o f elements
in oth e r r e l i g i o n s J

These fo u r b r i e f p r i n c ip l e s provide some g u id e lin e s which should be

observed in t h i s type o f research study.

Isaiah 14

E x t r a - B i b li c a l L ite ra tu re
2
In 1895 Gunkel proposed— and he was supported in th is by

Skinner^— th a t the Is a ia n m a te ria l could have had i t s o r ig in in


4
Babylon. Lohman a ffirm e d th a t the poet could have had the Baby­

lonian Is h t a r myth in view. In 1930 B outflow er3 suggested an Assyro-

Babylonian source, with Is h ta r and Nanna or Inanna in view. Konig^

proposed t h a t Isa 14:13 -1 5 was an a llu s io n to the Etana Myth, but

more r e c e n tly Childs suggested th a t "the Etana myth has only a

vague connection"7 with the Helal myth. Because o f these a ss e rtio n s

^ in g g re n , "Remarks," pp. 410-11.


2
Schopfunq und Chaos, p. 134.

3J. S. S kinner, I s a i a h , p. 122, "The conception is borrowed


from some Babylonian a s t r a l myth in which a r a d ia n t star-demon was
represented as presumptuously aiming a t supreme d e i t y , and as paying
the p e n a lty o f his ambition by being cast down to the underworld."
Cf. also G. M. Wade, The Book o f the Prophet I s a i a h , WC (London:
Methuen & C o., 1 9 1 1 ), pp. 100-101; G. B. Gray, Is a ia h 1 -3 9 , pp. 225-26.
4
Die anonymen P ro p h e tie n , p. 25.

^Charles B outflow er, The Book o f Is a ia h (New York:


Macmillan C o., 1 9 3 0 ), pp. 77-78; c f . also H. Gressmann, Per Messias
(G ottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1 92 9 ), pp. 165-70.

5Konig, J e s a ja , pp. 181-82. 7Myth and R e a l i t y , p. 69.

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61

and views we now turn to the examination of the Mesopotamian m aterial

Sumerian

The Sumerian myth "Inanna's Descent to the Netherworld"^

is the predecessor and prototype o f the Semitic myth " Is h t a r 's


2
Descent to the Netherworld."

In th is myth Inanna, "queen o f heaven," decides to v i s i t the

n etherw orld. She arrays h e rs e lf in a l l the d iv in e accouterments,

dresses h e r s e lf w ith the roya’ robes and je w e ls , and readies her­

s e l f to tr a v e l to "the land o f no r e t u r n . " Before going to the

netherworld Inanna in s tru cts her messenger Ninshubur to f i l l heaven

w ith complaints f o r her, and to plead w ith E n lil not to allow harm

to his daughter. I f E n lil refuses to h e lp , the messenger should go

The t e x t o f th is myth is reconstructed from about th ir te e n


t a b l e t s and fragments found in Nippur. Although we cannot determine
the date o f the f i r s t composition, e x t a n t ta b le ts come from the
f i r s t h a l f o f the second millennium B.C. While some parts of the
myth were published e a r l i e r (see RA 34 [1 9 3 7 ]:1 2 , and BASOR 79 [1 9 4 0 ]:
18 f o r r e f e r e n c e s ) , i t was Samuel Noah Kramer who published a f i r s t
f u l l e d i t i o n o f the te x t ("in a n n a 's Descent to the Netherworld," RA
34 [ 1 9 3 7 ] : 9 3 - 1 3 4 ) , based on the e ig h t ta b le t s then a v a i l a b l e . In
another two a r t i c l e s ("A dditional M a t e r i a l s to 'In a n n a 's Descent
to the N e the rw orld," RA 36 [1 9 3 9 ]:6 8 —8 0 ; " Is h ta r in the Netherworld
According to a New Sumerian T e x t ," BASOR 79 [ 1 9 4 0 ] : 1 8 - 2 7 ) , he
published some o th e r pieces of the myth ( c f . also S. N. Kramer,
Sumerian Mythology [P h ila d e lp h ia : American P hilosophical Society,
1944J, pp. 8 3 -8 8 , f o r a more d e t a i l e d s to ry about the gathering of
the myth). A new e d itio n of the t e x t , based on a l l the ta b le ts and
fragments we have today, was produced by Kramer in PAPS 85 (1942):
293-323. Other studies of the t e x t w ith t r a n s l a t i o n s , based on
previous p u b l i c a t i o n s , were published by A. Falke n s te in ("Zu 'Inannas
Gang zu r U n t e r w e lt ' ," AFO 14 [ 1 9 4 2 ]:1 1 3 —3 8 ), and Maurus Witzel
("Z u r Sumerischen Rezension der H o l l e n f a n r t I s c h t a r s , " OR 14 (1 9 45 ):
2 4-69). Kramer has also published the Sumerian v ersion o f the myth
in ANET^, p p . 52-57; and E. A. S p eis e r the Semitic version in ANET^ ,
pp. 106-9. In t h i s study we fo llo w e s p e c i a l l y the t r a n s la tio n
found in ANET.
2
This process gives us an example of l i t e r a r y borrowing
and tra n s fo rm a tio n .

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62

to Ur and present the same request to Nanna (th e moon-god). If

Nanna denies the p r o te c tio n , the messenger should go to Eridu and

make the same plea before E n k i, the Sumerian god o f wisdom who

knows "the food of l i f e " and "the water o f l i f e . " He would

c e r t a i n l y be able to save her from death.

A f t e r those in s tr u c t io n s Inanna descends to the netherworld

whose queen is Ereshkigal (Ina nna 's o ld e r s i s t e r , but her enemy).

The gatekeeper wants to know the reason f o r her v i s i t . Inanna says

th a t she was in v ite d and presents some reasons fo r the i n v i t a t i o n .

The gatekeeper, on in s tr u c t io n s from his m is tr e s s , allows Inanna to

e n te r thorugh the seven gates o f the netherw o rld. As she passes

each o f the seven gates, her garments and jew e ls are removed piece

by p ie ce . A f t e r the l a s t gate she is naked and is brought before

Ereshkigal and the Anunnaki judges who decree her death. She is

turned in to a corpse which is then hung from a stake. A f t e r three

days and three n ig h ts , seeing th a t his m istress has not re tu rn e d ,

Ninshubur s t a r t s to approach the gods as Inanna had in s tr u c te d .

E n l i l and Nanna deny any help f o r Inanna but Enki makes plans to

save her l i f e . He fashions the Kurgarru and the K a la tu r r u , two

sexless c re a tu re s , e n tr u s tin g to them the "food o f l i f e " and- the

"water c f l i f e , " and commanding them to go to the netherworld to

r e v iv e Inanna's impaled body by s p rin k lin g "food" and "water" s ix

times upon her corpse. They do as commanded, and Inanna is r e v iv e d .

As she ascends to the e a rth she is accompanied by dead and g h o s tly

c rea tu re s from the n etherw o rld. Accompanied by th a t crowd Inanna

goes from c i t y to c i t y in Sumer. As we can see, there are some

elements in the myth o f Inanna which could be re la te d to elements

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63

in Is a i a h 's Helel accounts. On the o th e r hand, however, s t r i k i n g

d iffe r e n c e s can also be seen in several fa c e ts of the two accounts.

Resemblances may be pointed out as follow s:

1. There a r e , in both accounts, scenes in three d i f f e r e n t

realms, and a s h i f t o f the main fig u r e from one realm to the o th e r.

In Is a ia h there is the movement: Earth ■» netherworld -»■ Heaven ->•

ea rth J In the Inanna myth the movement i s : Heaven - netherworld

- earth . 2

2. The language o f both m a te ria ls is v iv id and f i g u r a t i v e ,

and some elements are common to both accounts. These are descending

to the netherworld or to the grave; personages th a t are d is p le a s in g

to God, or the gods;^ the p u rs u it o f power; e tc .

D ifferences may be noted as:

1. In the myth Inanna descends to the netherworld and

ascends from there a g ain ; in Isaiah Helel is brought to the grave—

to the depths o f the p i t — but he does not re tu rn from th e r e , his

fa t e is f i n a l .

2. In the myth, Inanna sets her mind to go to the n e therw o rld;

in Is a ia h Helel has been cast down to the p i t because his power or

r u ie r s h ip has been broken because o f his proud a t t i t u d e , his

a s p i r a t i o n s , and his oppression over the n ations.

3. The Is a i a n ic language is very v iv id and fig u re s o f speech

are used to make the d e s c rip tio n more im pressive. For example, trees

^Isa 1 4 :4 b -8 ; vss. 9-1 1; vss. 12-15 ; vss. 16-21.

2lin e s 1-71; 72-272; 273-328. ANET3 , pp. 53-57.

JIn Inanna myth we do not have the d ispleasing a c t e x p l i c i t l y


s ta te d , but the c o ntext and events presuppose i t .

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64

and the s p i r i t s o f the departed ones speakJ A s i m i l a r kind of

language and fig u r e s o f speech are presented in the myth o f Inanna.

However, the n a r r a t iv e in Isa ia h is o b j e c t iv e , c l e a r , and lo g ic a l

in sequence. This is not the case w ith the Sumerian myth; i t is

q u ite r e p e t it io u s and presents f a n t a s t i c episodes such as the

in c id e n t where Inanna entered the seven gates of the netherworld

and l o s t her clo th e s and was l e f t naked, and the hanging o f Inanna's
3
body on a sta ke .

Having examined the myth and pointed out some resemblances

and d iffe r e n c e s in r e l a t i o n to I s a i a h , we a r r iv e a t the conclusion

t h a t although i t is not impossible th a t the prophet made use o f

Sumerian t r a d i t i o n , the d iffe r e n c e s are such th a t i t would be u n fa ir

to say th a t the Inanna myth is the source f o r the Is a ia n lament.

Some is o la te d elements o f p a r t i a l p a r a l l e l s are found, but the

t o t a l content is completely d i f f e r e n t . The phrases which show

some s i m i l a r i t y are common in the d e s c rip tio n s o f m a te r ia l o f the

same na tu re , although expressing d i f f e r e n t or even opposite r e a l i t i e s .

Akkadian

The Descent o f Is h ta r to the Netherw orld. The "Descent of


4
I s h t a r to the Netherworld" myth i s , as noted above, a kind of

h s a 1 4 :8 -1 0 . 2Lines 126-156, ANET3 , p. 55.

3l in e s 167-168, ANET3 , p. 55.


4
This myth has come to us in two recensions coming from Ashur
(c . 1200-100 B .C .) and from the l i b r a r y o f Ashurbanipal a t Nineveh.
The o ld e r recension ("A ") has been published by E. E b elin g ("Ein
H eldenlied auf T i g l a t p i l e s e r I und der Anfang e in e r neuen Version
von ' Is t a r s H o l l e n f a h r t ' nach e in e r S c h u le rta fe l aus Assur," OR 18
[1 9 4 9 ]:3 0 -3 9 ; KAR 1 [WVD0G 18 (1 9 1 5 -1 9 1 9 )] [ p i s . 1 - 4 ] , and p. 321).
The other recension ("N") was published by C. B. F. Walker

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65

adapted version of the Sumerian Inanna m ythJ The general out­

lin e s o f the s to ry agree in both accounts: the goddess descends

to the netherw o rld, goes through the seven gates lo s in g her gar­

ments in the process, is k i l l e d a t the command o f E r e s h k ig a l, is

re stored w ith the help o f Enki (the Semitic Ea), and ascends to the
2 3
earth. On the o th e r hand, as Kramer says, "few o f the d e t a i l s

th a t go to f i l l in these skeleton lines of the myth are a l i k e in the


4
two versions." Kramer continues his comments— w ith which we agree—

on the comparison o f the two versions by s t a t in g :

What is even more i n t e r e s t i n g is the palpable d i f f e r e n c e in


s t y le and tone. For the temper of the Sumerian v e rs io n , l i k e
t h a t o f Sumerian l i t e r a t u r e as a whole, is calm, subdued,
passive and unemotional; the incidents are r e c i t e d im passively
and repeated to the p oint of monotony. The S e m itic v ers io n ,
on the o th e r hand, glosses over many o f the p a r t i c u l a r s , but
expands w ith language t h a t is c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y passionate
and intense those d e t a i l s which are r ic h in emotional possi­
b ilitie s . There is l i t t l e doubt th a t the Sumerian version is

( Cuneiform Texts from Babylonian T a b le ts , 52 [London: B ritis h


Museum Pub.. 1959], p. 15, p is . 4 5 -4 8 ). Among the tr a n s la tio n s
a v a i l a b l e we have those by Peter C. A. Jensen ("Sammlung von
assyrischen und babylonischen Texten in um schrift und Ubersetzung,"
KB 6 [1 908] : 8 0 f f . ) , N recension; Samuel G e lle r (" D ie P.ezension von
"T s ta rs H o l l e n f a h r t ' aus Assur," OLZ 20 [ 1 9 1 7 ] : 4 1 f f . ) , A recension;
£. Ebeling ( "Unterweltsmythen," in AOT, pp. 2 0 6 f f . ) ; Alexander
H e id e l, The Gilqamesh Epic and Old Testament P a r a l l e l s (Chicago:
U n i v e r s i t y o f Chicago Press, 194 6 ), pp. 121-28. A re c e n t tra n s ­
l a t i o n based on both the Ashur and the Nineveh recensions has been
published by E. A. Speiser in ANET^, pp. 106-109.

^Cf. Kramer, ANET^ , pp. 52-57; 106-107. See A lfr e d Jeremias


( The Old Testament in the L ight o f the Ancient E a s t , TTL, 28, 2 v o l s . ,
t r a n s . C. L. Beaumont [London: Williams and Norgate, 1911], 1 :1 17 -2 3 )
f o r the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n o f Is h t a r in the Babylonian pantheon.
2
Kramer, " I s h t a r in the Netherworld," p. 20.

^The d e t a i l s o f the d iffe re n c e s between the two versions


are not discussed here because they are not c r u c ia l f o r the purpose
o f our research.

4 Ib id ., p. 2 0 .

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66

the more o r i g i n a l : the Sem itic account developed from i t in


the course o f the c en tu rie s as a r e s u lt o f m o d ific a tio n s made
by the Babylonians in accordance w ith t h e i r own temper and
g e n iu s . ''

The I s h t a r account does not have those ''abandoning" and "descending


2
to the netherworld" phrases encountered in the Inanna myth. In

a d d itio n the d e s c rip tio n o f her preparation o f her apparel f o r the

t r i p and her dialogue with the messenger concerning a c tio n to be

taken in case she does not re tu rn are lacking from the Akkadian

v e rs io n .” On the other hand the Akkadian version presents I s h t a r 's

v i o l e n t a t t i t u d e toward the gatekeeper o f the netherworld and gives

d i f f e r e n t reasons fo r going in t o the "land of no r e t u r n . " D e ta ils

about her entrance through the seven gates and losing her apparel
4
are presented— w ith some d i f f e r i n g nuances— in both versions.

Next the Sem itic version presents the m iseries which Ereshkigal

cast upon I s h t a r 3 and the consequences o f Is h t a r 's departure from

the n a tu ra l w o r ld . 3 The Akkadian version does not r e f e r e x p l i c i t l y

to the death o f I s h ta r .

In the Is h t a r myth we have next the c re a tio n o f Asushunamir

(a eunuch) and his being sent to the "land o f no re tu rn " to bring

^ I b i d . ; c f . E. D. Dhorme, Les Religions de Babylonie e t


d 'A s s y r i e , ARO (P a r is : Presses U n i v e r s i t a i r e s de France, 1949),
p. 67. For a good survey on the c u l t and function o f I s h t a r in
the Assyro-Babylonic c u l t u r e , see pp. 6 7-78, 321-24.

2l i n e s 3 -1 3 , ANET3 , p. 53.

3Lines 14-120, ANET3 , pp. 53-54.

\in e s 121-160, ANET3 , p. 55; and lin e s 3 8-64 , ANET3 , pp.


107-8.

5l i n e s 6 5 -7 4 , ANET3 , p. 108.

3Lines 75-80 (o b v e rs e ), 1-10 ( r e v e r s e ) , ANET3 , p. 108.

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67

the goddess back. The same r i t u a l fo r t h i s — w ith s l i g h t l y d i f f e r e n t

nuances--is present as in the Inanna v e r s i o n J The long i n t e r ­

cession o f the messenger before the gods is found in the Sumerian

version but is absent from the Akkadian. On the o th e r hand, the

Semitic version presents a dialogue between Asushunamir and

Ereshkigal w ith some t h r e a t o f the l a t t e r a g a in s t the former, and

the devaluation of I s h t a r ' s apparel as she passes back through the


2
netherworld gates. These two incidents are absent in the Inanna

v ersion. The end o f the Akkadian version presents the r e s to r a tio n

o f Tammuz, I s h t a r ' s lo v e r , to l i f e . Z

The same observations made concerning the Sumerian version

o f the myth could l e g i t i m a t e l y be made f o r the S em itic version.

The d iffe r e n c e s between them are in d e t a i l s which do not modify the

main i d e n t i t y and nature o f the o r ig in a l myth to any g reat e x te n t.

As was said b e fo re , the d iffe r e n c e s are— in g re a t measure— in s ty le

and tone 4 and are accounted f o r as r e s u lt o f the more passionate and

emotional nature o f the Sem itic version. The Akkadian version does

not add any phrase, as f a r as we can p e rc e iv e , th a t would supply

m a te ria l th a t would help us to i d e n t i f y the I s h t a r myth with the

Isaian Helel ben Shahar s to r y . The same observations made con­

cerning the Sumerian version can thus be a p p lie d to the Akkadian

version o f the descent o f the goddess to the n etherw o rld.

^Lines 11-37, ANET3 , p. 108.

ZLines 11-46, ANET3 , pp. 108-9.

\ i n e s 4 7-59 , ANET3 , p. 109. This is the f i r s t time th a t


Tammuz appears in the myth.

4 Vandenburgh, "The Ode," p. 118, c a l l s a t t e n t i o n to the


f a c t th a t the poem o f the I s h t a r myth i s , as the Is a ia n Ode, a
pentameter.

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68

The myth o f Zu. ^ Zu is a d iv in e fig u r e (c a lle d the bird


n
god ) mentioned in several Mesopotamian t e x t s , who became f o r a

time the lo rd o f the world a f t e r having s tolen E n l il s Ta blets of

D e s tin ie s . The Semites described Zu as a "doer o f E v i l , the one

who rais e s the head o f e v i l . " 3 The s to r y says th a t Zu was once

in attendance on the god E n l i l , when

Heidel Spei ser

5. His eyes behold what E n lil The e x e rc is e of his E n l il s h i p


does as sovereign. his eyes view.

6. The crown o f his sovereig nty, The crown o f his s o ve re ig n ty ,


the robe of his d i v i n i t y . the robe o f his godhead.

7. The t a b l e t o f d e s t in ie s (be­ His d iv in e Tablet o f D es tinie s


longing to ) his ' d i v i n i t y ( ? ) ' Zu views c o n s ta n tly .
Zu beholds again and again.

8. And as he beholds again and As he views c o n s ta n tly the


again the f a t h e r o f the gods, f a t h e r of the gods, the god
the god o f D u ra n k i , 4 o f D u ra n k i,

This myth appears in two fo rm u la tio n s , in Akkadian (OB) and


Assyrian. The OB recension was f i r s t published— with t r a n s l i t e r a t i o n
and French t r a n s l a t i o n — by V. Scheil ("Fragments de la legende du dieu
Zu," RA 35 [ 1 9 3 8 ] : 1 4 - 2 5 ) . For o the r t r a n s l i t e r a t i o n s and t r a n s la tio n s
and some c o l l a t i o n , see Jean Nougayrol, "Ningirsu Vainqueur de Zu," RA
46 ( 1 9 5 2 ) : 8 7 - 9 7 ; E rich Ebeling, "Eine neue Ta fe l des akkadischen Zu-
Mythos," RA 46 (1 9 5 2 ) : 2 5 - 4 1 . The Assyrian version was published by
C. B. F. Walker, CTBT 15 ( 1 9 6 2 ) :3 9 -4 0 ; and a d d itio n s by E ric a Reiner,
"Deux fragments du mythe de Zu," RA 48 (1 9 5 4 ):1 4 5 -4 9 ; tr a n s la t i o n s
were made by J. Jensen, "Sammlung," pp. 4 7 -5 5 ; E. E beling, "Unter-
weltsmythen," pp. 1 41-43. English t r a n s l a t i o n s — which are a kind o f
c o n fla tio n between the two recensions— were made by Alexander Heidel
( The Babylonian Genesis [Chicago: U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1951 ( f i r s t
published in 1 9 4 2 )J . pp. 144-47; and E. A. S p eis e r, ANET^, pp. 111-
13. See also A. K. Grayson, ANET^, pp. 5 14-17, f o r some a d d itio n a l
m a te ria l o f the myth. Because o f d i f f e r e n c e o f s ty le and phraseology,
two tr a n s la t io n s o f the t e x t are presented.
2
For r e a c tio n o f the suggestion on the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of Zu
w ith the Sumerian t h i r d millennium " d iv in e IM-dugud b i r d , " see
T. Fish, "The Zu B i r d , " BJRL 31 ( 1 9 4 8 ):1 6 2 - 7 1 .

3C f. i b i d . , p. 166.
4
"God o f D u ra n k i," according to Heidel and S p e is e r, is an
e p ith e t of E n lil. Duranki (meaning "the bond o f heaven and e a r th " )
was the name o f the temple tower a t Nippur.

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69

9. He conceives in his h e art a The removal of E n l il s h i p he


d e s i r e ( ? ) f o r E n l i l ' s p o s itio n ; conceives in his h e a rt.

10. As Zu beholds again and again As Zu views constantly the


the f a t h e r o f the gods, the f a t h e r o f the gods, the god
god o f Duranki, of D u ra n k i,

11. He conceives in his h e art a The removal of E n l il s h i p he


d e s ir e ( ? ) f o r E n l i l ' s p o s itio n . conceives in his h e a rt.

12. " I w i l l take the t a b l e t o f 111 w i l l take the d iv in e T a b le t


the d e s tin ie s of the gods, of D e s tin ie s , I ,
even 1 1

13. Also the omens of a l l the And the decrees o f a l l the


gods I w i l l c o n tro l! gods I w i l l r u le !

14. I w i l l e s ta b lis h (my) throne I w i l l make firm my throne and


and w i l l control (?) the be the master o f the norms,
de cre e s !

15. I w i l l control a l l the I g i g i I w i l l d i r e c t the t o t a l i t y


to g e th e r!" o f a l l the I g i g i ."

16. A f t e r his heart has planned the His h e art having thus p l o t t e d
a tta c k , aggression,

17. He w a its f o r the beginning o f At the entrance o f the sanctuary,


the day a t the entrance of which he had been v ie w in g ,
( E n l i l 1s) chamber, which he He awaits the s t a r t of day.
had beheld re peatedly.

18. As E n l i l was washing in c le a r As E n l i l was washing w ith pure


w a te r, w a te r,

19. A f t e r his t i a r a had been taken His crown having been removed
o f f and placed on the throne, and deposited on the th ro n e ,

20. He seized the t a b l e t o f He seized the Ta blet o f D e s tin ie s


d e s t in ie s with [ h i s ] hand in his handsJ

21 . And usurped sovereignty (the Taking away the E n l i l s h i p ;


power), to issue decrees. suspended were [the norms].

22. Zu (th e n ) flew away and When Zu had flown away and
Chid( ? ) ] in his mountain. re p a ire d to his mountain.
2
As Gowan has remarked, t h i s myth seems to be the only good example

^Here begins the p a r a l l e l account o f the Akkadian v e r s io n ;


see ANET^, n. I l i a .

2 P. 60.

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70

in the ancient Near East (outside the 0T) o f a rebel who is unsuc­

cessful in his attempt to grasp the kingship o f the god. When we

compare some po rtio n o f the Zu myth w ith the Isaian passage, we can

d e te ct some s i m i l a r i t i e s , as well as some d iffe re n c e s in the main

themes and elements o f both m a te ria ls .

S i m i l a r i t i e s can be l i s t e d as:

1. A f a i l e d attempt to grasp the kingship and c ontrol

everything^— Zu wants E n l i l ' s p o s itio n , and Helel wants "to be

l i k e El yon."

2. A process which went on in the f i g u r e 's h e a r t , a pro­

cess o f envy and a d e sire to become l i k e the supreme God. Several

steps occur in the development o f the projected act to reach the


2
pinnacle o f power.

3. The establishm ent o f a throne or the enthronement o f

the Rebel. This is c l e a r l y a tte s te d .

Zu Helel ben Shahar

(H e id e l) "I w i l l e s t a b lis h my “I w ill s i t enthroned . " 4


throne . .

(S p e ise r) "I w i l l make fir m my th ro n e ."

4. A mountain to which Zu f le e s a f t e r having s to len the


5
t a b l e t of d e s t in ie s . Helel seeks to be enthroned on the "Mount

o f Assembly" in the "heights o f Zaphon."®

^Lines 11-15; Isa 1 4:13 -1 4 . 2Lines 12-16; Isa 1 4 :1 3 -1 4 .

3l i n e 14. 4 Isa 14:13b.

5Line 22; see also lin e s 37, 45, 49, 93 (ANET3 , p. 1 1 3 ),


where the "Assembly o f the great gods" is mentioned.

6 Isa 14:13c.

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71

5. Zu being described by the Semites as "doer o f e v i l ,

the one who ra is e s the head o f e v i l . " ^ H e l e l 's c h a r a c t e r is t i c s

are also those o f an e v i l personage. Although not as e x p l i c i t ,

th is comparison seems l e g it im a t e .

Differe n c es t h a t can be d is tin g u ish e d are:

1. The c o n te xt o f Zu’ s myth is obviously p o l y t h e i s t i c

and consequently several gods are c a lle d to beseige Zu and bring


2
back the Tablet o f D e s tin ie s . In H e l e l 's sto ry the context shows
3
his designs being f r u s t r a t e d by Yahweh, who brings him down to the

p *t.

2. Zu belonged to the underworld. Helel was thrown down

in to the p i t , but did not l i v e there be fore .

3. The main theme in the Zu myth is his s t r i v i n g to steal

E n l i l ' s Ta blet o f D e s tin ie s which he f i n a l l y got. H e l e l 's s to ry

has nothing concerning such a t a b l e t .

4. Zu became f o r a time the lord o f the w orld, w hile the

Isaian passagedoes not give any h in t th a t Helel was a t some time

the lord o f any domain.

We have to admit th a t despite the several d iffe r e n c e s pre­

sented, these two l i t e r a t u r e s are incieed very s i m i l a r in major

trends such as r e b e l l i o n o f a s u b je c t, attem pt to grasp kin gship,

etc. On the o th e r hand we know th a t war among gods and the s t r i v ­

ing to d e fe at a more eminent god is very common among the myths.

V i s h , p. 166. 2lin e s 2 7 f f . , ANET^, p. 113.

2See vss. 5, 22. I t is tru e th a t these two vss. are out


o f the main passage (vss. 12-15) which are said to come from a
mythic source; but in vs. 13b a Supreme God 0? x ) is mentioned,
which p a r a l l e l s the "most High" (] T> > v ) in vs. 14b.

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72

Summarizing, we would say th a t we cannot prove th a t the

b i b l i c a l w r i t e r borrowed his ideas from the myth discussed; but

n e ith e r can we prove th a t the author o f the Zu myth was not ins pire d

by some knowledge he had o f the same remote event.

The Etana Myth. Keeping in mind C h i l d s ' ^ statement about


2
the r e la tio n s h ip o f the Etana myth, we now turn our a t t e n t i o n to

an examination o f t h a t myth. Etana was a legendary r u l e r o f the

p o s t-flo o d Dynasty of Kish, known as "a Shepherd who ascended to

heaven."^ His l i f e was marred by the f a c t t h a t his w ife was c h i l d ­

le s s . The only remedy would be to get the p la n t o f b i r t h , which

Etana would have to bring from heaven in person. The s o la r d e i t y

gives him i n t e l l i g e n c e to perceive t h a t he should make use o f an

eagle to tra n s p o r t him to Anu's heaven to bring the p la n t o f b i r t h

from th e re . Before doing so, however, Etana had to rescue the

eagle from a p i t in to which she had been thrown by the serpent

because o f her b e tra y a l o f her f r i e n d . The e a g le , once rescued,

C h ild s , Myth and R e a l i t y , p. 64, says th a t "the Etana


myth has only a vague connection" w ith the Helal myth ( I s a 1 4 : 1 2 -1 5 )-
C f. Lohmann ( Die anonymen P ro p h e tien , p. 2 5 ) , who says "M it dem
Itana-mythus s e lb e r hat jedoch unsere S t e l l e w ahrscheinlich n ichts
zu sch a ffen , wenn auch d ie Farben des Liedes an denselben
e rin n e rn ."
2
The te x ts o f the myth come to us in fragments o f three
recensions: Old Babylonian (A ); Middle Assyrian (B ) ; and Neo-
Assyrian (C ). See ANET-3, p. 114, f o r the references o f the p u b l i ­
c ation o f the various t e x t s . Our research uses the reconstructed
t e x t o f the three versions published by E. A. S peiser, ANET^,
pp. 114-18.

^Thorkild Jacobsen, The Sumerian King L i s t , AS 11 (Chicago:


U n iv e r s it y Press, 1 93 9 ), pp. 80-81 . See also Henri F r a n k f o r t,
C y lin d e r Seals (London: Macmillan C o ., 1 9 3 9 ), pp. 138-39, and
P I. XXIV-V , where a shepherd is depicted r i s i n g to heaven on the
wings o f an e a g le .

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73

agrees to tra n s p o rt Etana to Anu' s heaven, saying,

"My f r i e n d , b r ig h t [ . . . ] .
Up, I w i l l bear thee to the heaven [ o f Anu]!
Upon my breast place thou [th y b r e a s t ] ,
Upon the fe a th e rs o f my wings place thou [th y hands],
Upon my sides place thou [ t h in e a r m s ]!“ l

Etana follow s the e a g le 's in s t r u c t i o n and is c a r r ie d to the t h i r d

heaven, which belongs to Anu. Apparently the p la n t o f b i r t h was

not found, f o r they went higher to I s h t a r ' s heaven. Looking down,

however, Etana was taken by fe a r and plunged down together w ith the
2
e a g le .

Comparing the account o f E tana' s myth w ith the Isaian pas­

sage is a task th a t is complicated by the fragmentary s ta te o f the

Akkadian t e x t and the nature o f the m a te ria l involved. We fin d

some sparse elements which could be said to resemble each o th e r.

In Etana's myth we fin d the realms o f heaven (s everal heavens),

e a r t h , and the p i t (o r n e th e rw o rld ). There is an ascending to

heaven; there is the f a i l u r e to reach the o b j e c t iv e ; and there is

the consequent plunging down from on high (probably in to the p i t ,

though we are not sure since the t e x t is incomplete a t th is p o i n t ) .

On the oth e r hand, we are faced again w ith remarkable d i f ­

ferences or divergences: (1 ) The purpose f o r ascending to heaven

is q u ite d i f f e r e n t in the two accounts. The Isa ia n story shows

Helel tr y in g to e s ta b lis h his throne in the utmost heights o f the

ANET3 , p. 118, lin e s 15-19.


2
In a more r e c e n tly published t e x t , J. V. Wilson ("Some
C o n trib u tio n s to the Legend o f E tana," IRAQ 31 [ 1 9 6 9 ] : 8 - 1 7 ) ,
shows th a t Etana obtained the p la n t of b i r t h and suggests th a t
the story had a tr a g i c ending, whereas S peiser (ANET3 , p. 114)
suggests a happy ending to the s to r y .

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74

sacred mountain; Etana ascends to get the p la n t o f b i r t h . (2 ) The

Etana myth says nothing about his oppressing r u l e r s h i p , w hile the

Isaian account doesJ (3 ) The p o l y t h e is t i c nature o f the myth

contrasts w ith the b i b l i c a l passage. (4 ) The myth is r e p e t it io u s

and i t s language is less n a t u r a l; i t p e rs o n ifie s the elements o f

nature to a gre ater e x te n t than does the b i b l i c a l passage.

To say th a t we have the same myth in both accounts would be

q u ite in a c c u ra te . That the Isaian passage had i t s o r ig in in the

Akkadian myth is very d i f f i c u l t to demonstrate; th a t some elements

came d i r e c t l y from the Akkadian m a te ria l into the b i b l i c a l account

is y et to be proved.

I t could be th a t both accounts have elements o f the same

m y th ic a l— or p r e - h i s t o r i c a l — o r i g i n a l event, but i f th a t were the

case— and we are not sure th a t i t i s — there are no convincing argu­

ments to demonstrate i t . I f such a procedure were c a rrie d o u t, we

b e lie v e i t would be found th a t the elements involved were "combined


2
in s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t ways." The more probable explanation

o f some g e n e r a lly common elements or resemblances between the two

s to r ie s would be th a t o f the existence o f "common circumstances

o r something basic to human n a t u r e .'1^

^Vss. 4 -6 , 16-17.
2
C f. Gowan, When Man Becomes God, pp. 6 5 -6 6 , who believes
th a t the main elements in the Isaian passage are found in the
F e r t i l e Crescent l i t e r a t u r e , but sees a ra d ic a l d iffe r e n c e in the
s tr u c tu r e o f the s to r y ; he thinks Isaiah deals w ith a human being's
attem pt to become god.

JCf. i b i d . , p. 52. We return to th is aspect in the


conclusion of th is chapter. See also Gowan, pp. 5 4-58, f o r
suggestive mythical elements p a r a l l e l to Isa 1 4:12-15 in other
Ancient World m a t e r i a l .

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75

H ittite

Some scholars have suggested th a t the Kumarbi and Ullikummi

H i t t i t e myths^ are more o r i g i n a l forms o f the m a te ria l o f Isa 14:


2 3
12-15. In one o f the epics we le a rn th a t there was a heavenly

kingship which went through several generations of gods such as

A l l a l u , Anu, Kumarbi, and the storm-god Teshub. A l l a l u was driven

away by Anu, who then reigned in heaven. The "mighty Kumarbi" who

was servant of Anu r e v o lte d against Anu and made him f l e e . Kumarbi

threw him from heaven and castrated him. Anu f o r e t o ld t h a t three

c h ild re n would be born to Kumarbi, one o f which was the storm-

god, u s u a lly c a lle d Teshub. A f t e r several acts of r i v a l r y between

The ta b le t s found were w r i t t e n between 1400 and 1200 B.C.;


the o r ig in a l composition could be from the f i f t e e n t h c en tu ry B.C.
The bulk o f the t e x ts was published in cuneiform by H. Otten
("Mythische und magische Texte in h e t h i t i s c h e r Sprache," KUB 33
(1 9 4 3 ), and E. 0. F o r r e r ("Eine Geschichte des Gotterkonigtums aus
dem H a tti Reiche," AIPH 4 [ 1 9 3 6 ]:6 8 7 - 7 1 3 ). The te x ts (fragmentary
copies) contain two e p ic s : “Kingship in Heaven" and "The Song of
U llikum m i," which, based on the preserved p a r t s , were reconstructed
by Hans G. Giiterbock ("The H i t t i t e Version o f the H urrian Kumarbi
Myths: O rien tal Forerunners o f Hesiod," AJA 52 ( 1 9 4 8 ):1 2 3 - 3 4 ; and
"The Song o f Ullikum m i. Revised Text o f the H i t t i t e Version o f a
Hurrian Myth," JCS 5 [1 9 5 1 ]:1 3 5 - 6 1 ; 6 [ 1 9 5 2 ] : 8 - 4 2 ) . A new tra n s ­
la t i o n was made by A lb re c h t Goetze in ANET^, pp. 1 20 -2 5 . See
E. A. Speiser, "An I n t r u s i v e H u r r o - H i t t i t e Myth," JAOS 62 (1942):
98-102, fo r the view t h a t the myth is not o r i g i n a l l y H i t t i t e but
an adaptation o f a H u rria n product.

Pope, El_, p. 97; Paul D. Hanson, "Rebellion in Heaven,


A z a z e l, and Euhemeristic Heroes in 1 Enoch 6 -1 1 ," JBL 96 (1977):
207-09, where a comparison o f mythical p a tte rn between the material
o f Isa 14 and the H i t t i t e myth is made.

^Cf. Goetze, ANET^, pp. 120-21; Giiterbock, "The H i t t i t e


V ersion," pp. 123 -2 5 ; S p e is e r, “An In t r u s iv e H u r r o - H i t t i t e ," pp. 98-102.
See also Kapelrud, Baal in the Ras Shamra T e x ts , pp. 8 9 -9 3 , fo r
more commentary on the Kumarbi te x ts .

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76

Anu, Kumarbi, and his son the storm-god, the l a t t e r seems to have

taken over the kingship of heavenJ

On the essence o f th is myth Giiterbock concludes that the

Song of Ullikummi describes the c o n tin u a tio n of the b a t t l e between


2
o ld e r and younger gods. U n s a tis fie d w ith the supremacy o f the

storm god, and d e s ir in g to continue as the " fa th e r o f the gods,"

Kumarbi c reates the sea monster Ullikum m i. The l a t t e r was a th r e a t

a gains t the storm god, who devised plans to destroy Ullikummi.

In examining these myths we f in d m otifs which resemble some

found in the Is a ia n passage, but we f in d also s t r i k i n g d iffe re n c e s

in the account.

S i m i l a r i t i e s may be pointed out as:

1. A r i v a l r y is developed, and there is opposition against

gods (God).

2. One is ascending to take up the kingship.

3. A seat is prepared f o r a god to s i t upon.

4. The d e fe a t o f one o f the p a r t ie s is noted, with the

subsequent “dragging down from the sky."

D iffe r e n c e s noted are as fo llo w s :

1. The c o ntext of the H i t t i t e myths is a p o l y t h e i s t i c one,

where many gods are involved in a confused and complicated r i v a l r y .

In the b i b l i c a l passage somebody r a is e s him self a g a in s t God ( E l )

who is the Most High (E ly o n ).

^The outcome o f the b a t t l e u n fo r tu n a te ly is not preserved,


but the "Song o f Ullikummi" presents the storm god as a king. See
ANET3 , p. 121.

^Giiterbock, "The H i t t i t e V e rs io n ," pp. 125-32.

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77

2. The b i b l i c a l m a te ria l — although d i f f i c u l t - - i s more

c l e a r and i n t e l l i g i b l e than the H i t t i t e myth which is d if f u s e

and hard to understand as to the sequence o f events.

3. The s u b lim ity o f the I s a i a n ic acocunt contrasts w ith

the grotesque le v e l o f the H i t t i t e myth; f o r example, the myth c it e s

an in c id e n t in which Kumarbi swallowed Anu's manhoodJ

Despite some s u p e r f ic i a l resemblances presented above, i t

is very u n l i k e l y th a t t h i s myth would be a "more o r ig in a l form"

of I s a i a h 's m a t e r i a l . Those scholars who suggest th a t have had


2
d i f f i c u l t y in demonstrating such a dependence.

Greek

In 1877 F. D e litz s c h c a lle d a t t e n t i o n to the f a c t th a t Helel

d e riv e s i t s name from i t s s t r i k i n g b r i l l i a n c y and is c a lle d son o f

the dawn " ju s t as in the c la s s ic a l mythology i t is c a lle d son o f

Eos."^ Dilmann 4 agreed with D e lit z s c h , and Duhm^ e x p l i c i t l y com­

pared Helel to Phaeton and said t h a t both were inspired by an

1 ANET3> p . 120.
2
Pope (EX, pp. 97-98) suggests t h a t there was a known “myth
o f the vanquished and banished god or gods" in the Old and New
Testament times ( c f . also Morgenstern, "The Mythological Background,"
pp. 29-126) from which Isa 1 4 :1 2 -1 4 d e r iv e s , and connects the Kumarbi
and Ullikummi myths w ith the Is a ia n passage. But he is confused in
the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n o f H e le l. Cf. McKay, " H e l e l , " p. 463, n. 1.

^I s a i a h , p. 311. D e litz s c h a ls o mentions th a t among the


Semites the morning s ta r is p e rs o n ifie d as a female. According to
W. Baumgartner ( I s r a e l i t i s c h - G r i e c h i s c h e ," p. 1 5 7 ), 0. Gruppe in
the 1880s was also discussing the s i m i l a r i t i e s between Isa 1 4 :1 2 -1 4 ,
and the Greek myth o f Phaeton.
4
J e s a ia , p. 136. Cf. also Gunkel , Schopfung and Chaos,
p. 134.

^ Jesaia, p. 119; c f . also Grey Hubert S kip w ith , "The Lord


o f Heaven," JQR 19 (1 9 0 7 ):7 0 2 .

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78

a stral phenomenon; but he i d e n t i f i e d the s ta r with Mercury. U n til

the middle o f the tw e n tie th century scholars have paid l i t t l e

a t t e n t i o n to the equation H e le l-P h a e to n . G re lo t, however, was

one who made a more d e t a ile d study o f Phaeton's role in the Greek

te x ts .^
2
The fi g u r e o f Phaeton in Greek mythology does not have a
3 4
c le a r i d e n t i t y . His genealogy is confused, and his s to r y is

presented in several v a r ia n ts . Among the more re le v a n t Greek te x ts

examined by G re lo t we f in d :

1. Odyssey 2 3 .2 4 6 .^ — Phaeton is presented as one o f the

c o lts th a t bear the c h a r io t o f the dawn.^

2. Theoqony 986—91 - ^— Hesiod presents Phaeton here as a

god, a strong son o f Eos and Cephalus, whom— in his youth— "Aphrodite

l u I s a ie 1 4 :1 2 -1 5 ," pp. 2 5-32.


2
= "the s h i n i n g . ” For sources on Phaeton, see
" f a Thesaur us Graecae Linguae, 1954, 9:573-74; and
A Greek-English Lexicon (1 9 6 8 ), p. 1911. Ovid ( Metamorphoses,
2 .1 -4 0 0 , [ t r a n s . Frank Justus M i l l e r , LCL, pp. 6 0 -8 9 ]) o f f e r s a
more d e ta ile d account of a Phaeton myth or fa b le .

^See “Phaeton," D i c t i o n a ir e de la mythologie grecque e t


romaine (1 9 5 1 ), pp. 364-65, f o r the p l u r a l i t y of Phaeton’ s i d e n t i t y .

^According to Hesiod ( Theoqony 986-91 [tr a n s . H. G. Evelyn-


W hite, LCL, pp. 1 5 3 ] ) , Phaeton is son o f Eos and Cephalus; according
to Ovid ( i b i d . , 2 . I f f . ) , son o f A pollo (H e lio s ) and Clymene.

^Horner, Odyssey ( t r a n s . A. T. Murray, LCL, 2 : 2 9 1 ) .

^23.246 •'■auiov -tau Jac'covi . t .-.5 tja : 1. I y c j c ..


G re lo t ( " I s a i e 1 4 :1 2 -1 5 ," pp. 2 5 -3 2 ) in examining th is and other
Greek te x ts has demonstrated— d e s p ite the nuances in using the
term Phaeton— th a t the term is a r a th e r common e p i t h e t f o r the
a s t r a l d e i t i e s , and th a t Lampon and Phaeton are the pla nets
Mercury and Venus.

^Hesiod, Theoqony, p. 153.

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79

seized and made a keeper o f her shrine by n i g h t , a d iv in e s p i r i t . " ^

3. A Greek story o f another Phaeton, who is described as

son o f Apollo (H e lio s ) and the nymph Clymene. Mention of him appears
2 3
in several a n cie n t w r i t e r s , but Ovid supplied us w ith the most

d e ta i1s . ^

One day Phaeton had a dispute with Epaphus, son of Zeus and

Io , who scoffed a t the idea o f Phaeton s o r i g i n . He complained to

his mother who sent him to Helios to ask info rm a tio n concerning his

d iv in e b i r t h . Helios confirmed th a t he was his f a t h e r , and Phaeton

made Helios promise to prove before the eyes o f the gods th a t he

P. Mazon ( c f . G r e l o t , " Is a ie 1 4 :1 2 -1 5 ," pp. 28-30 comments on


th is passage based on the co n te xt— th a t the d e s c r ip tio n of Phaeton
as a "genie Nocturne” i d e n t i f i e s him as the evening S ta r, Venus.
G relot supports him. A f t e r examining the quoted te x ts and the mean­
ing o f the words Phaeton, Eosphoros, Esperos, Phosforos, and
L u c i f e r , G r e lo t a rriv e s a t the pro v isio n a l conclusion that
"Helel f i l s de Sahar e s t le meme personnage mythique que
Phaeton f i l s de'E&s. Sur ce p o in t, ou bien le mythe grec
depend du modele phenicien connu de I ' a u t e u r d ' I s . XIV, ou
bien tous les deux remontent a un m§me p ro to ty p e . Le personnage
en question n 'e s t a u tre que 1 'a s tr e du matin p e rs o n n ifie :
E3sphoros-Phosphoros. De ce f a i t , les tra d u c tio n s d ' I s . XIV 12
dans les LXX (c^cpocos) e t la Vulgate ( L u c i f e r ) sont e x c e lle n t e s ,
e t la paraphrase du Targum e s t bien dans le lig n e du te x te
o r i g i n a l " (p . 30).

^ A r i s t o t l e Meteoroloqica 1 .8 .2 ( t r a n s . H. D. P. Lee, LCL,


p. 59) ". . . Some say t h a t the M ilk y Way is the path taken by one
o f the s ta rs a t the time o f the legendary f a l l o f Phaeton." Diodorus
of S i c i l y , H is to ry 523 .2-3 ( t r a n s . C. A. O ld f a t h e r , LCL, 3 :1 5 8 -6 1 );
Diodorus presents a comprehensive account o f the s to ry . Horace
Odes 4 .1 1 .2 5 ( t r a n s . C. E. B enett, LCL, p. 329) says th a t the
"scorched Phaeton serves as a warning to ambitious hopes. . . " .
Cicero De Natura Deorum 3.31 ( t r a n s . H. Rackham, LCL, p. 363).
Lucretius De Rerum Natura 5.395-405 ( t r a n s . W. H. D. Rouse, LCL,
pp. 3 67-6 9 T

^Metamorphoses 2 :1 -4 0 0 .

^Concerning th is recension, G relot says ( " I s a i e 1 4 :1 2 -1 5 ,"


p. 31) "Assurement dans c e t te recension, le mythe s 'e s t degrade en
fa b le e t son i n s p ir a tio n o r i g i n e l l e e s t d i f f i c i l e a re tro u v er
d e r r ie r e les excroissances d ’ une imagination decadente."

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was his son. A f t e r Helios promised, Phaeton demanded permission to

d rive the sun's c h a rio t f o r one day. Helios t r i e d to dissuade the

boy, showing him the dangers o f such an e n t e r p r is e , but i t was in

v ain . Because o f his o a th , H elio s granted permission.

The youth took the c h a r i o t and drove i t . When the steeds

perceived th a t they were being driven by d i f f e r e n t and weaker hands,

they rushed headlong and l e f t the tra v e le d road, going w ild ly through

space. Phaeton looked down upon the earth and was shaken with t e r r o r

The horses, now u n re s tra in e d , went up and down, almost touching the

stars a t one extreme and the e a r th a t the o t h e r . As a re s u lt the

r i v e r s o f the e a rth began to dry up, and the s o il to burn. Seeing

the danger, Zeus struck Phaeton w ith a thund erb o lt throwing him

in to the waters o f the Eridanns r i v e r , which quenched his burning

body. His s i s t e r s , as they were lamenting his f a t e , were turned

in to poplar tre e s on the banks o f the r i v e r .

The f i r s t recension o f Phaeton's s to ry a t t r i b u t e s to him a

d i f f e r e n t genealogy than the one presented in the Theoqony. In the

former, Phaeton is son o f H elio s and Clymene; the heros are semi-gods

and the account is a kind o f m o ra liz in g f a b l e . In the Theoqony,

Phaeton is a god, son o f Eos and Cephalus, and the account is a

cosmogony. Although the a s s o c ia tio n w ith the c h a r i o t of the sun

(and o f the dawn) remains, as says G re lo t,^ the f ig u r e of Phaeton-

Eosphoros has been divided in two: (1 ) a s t a r of the morning,

L u c i f e r , who is r e la te d to the dawn; and ( 2 ) an impoverished and

imprudent god whose ambition is explained through his solar

1“ Is a i e 1 4 :1 2 -1 5 ," pp. 31-32.


2
Ovid, Metamorpnoses, 2 .1 1 1 -1 5 .

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81

filia tio n .'' Thus Phaeton son o f the sun seems an a va ta r of Phaeton

son of the dawn.

A f t e r examining these Greek te x ts which introduce us to

Phaeton, we recognize attached to Helel-Ben Shahar o f Isa 14:12 -1 5 ,

a s i m i l a r m o tif o f the ascending and f a l l i n g which was attached to


?
Phaeton Son o f Eos. Both also seems to bear a r e la tio n s h ip to the

Venus S ta r."' G re lo t has helped us to understand the f a c t that

although the Phaeton term is an e p i t h e t applied to several a s tra l

bodies such as the sun, the moon, e t c . , i t r e la t e s most d i r e c t l y to


4
the Venus S ta r. Although the prophet seems to use an a s tra l
5
phenomenon — which was used by the pagan myth— to i l l u s t r a t e the

fa ll o f the f ig u r e in his lament, we fin d some d iffe r e n c e s between

the two s to rie s which m i l i t a t e a g ain s t i d e n t i f y i n g the mythic

Phaeton with the Is a ia n fi g u r e as G re lo t and McKay advocate.^

Let us consider some o f these points :

'ib id ., 1 .7 4 8 -7 6 .

^With G r e lo t ( " I s a i e 1 4 : 1 2 -1 5 ," p. 3 2 ) , and Duhm, J e s a ia ,


p. 119.

^Duhm had m istak e nly i d e n t i f i e d the myth w ith Mercury.

4,1 Is a ie 1 4 : 1 2 -1 5 ," pp. 24-30.

^Against McKay, " H e l e l , " pp. 455-57.

^ I b i d . , pp. 455-60. McKay t r i e s in his a r t i c l e to demon­


s t r a t e th a t although m t ' appears used in the 0T t r a n s la t io n as a
n a tu ra l phenomenon, i t appears in the MT most o f the time accompanied
by a c t iv e verbs— and never p r e fix e d by temporal p re p o s itio n and oes-
c r i p t i v e phrases which express the time element— which would in d ic a te
th a t -rrrvw as a personalized being. He also i d e n t i f i e s as an
a n cie n t female d e i t y , a dawn-goddess. A f t e r a sequence o f compari­
sons o f pagan d e i t i e s , McKay a r r iv e s a t the conclusion th a t G relot
is c o r r e c t in equating Helel and Phaeton and proceeds to trace some
steps by which he thinks the Greek myth became changed to appear as
i t does in Isa 1 4 :12 -1 5 ( i b i d . , pp. 4 6 3 -6 4 ).

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1. There is a d iffe r e n c e in gender among the parent d e i t i e s

Shahar is a male ged while Eos is a goddess.

2. The motive fo r Phaeton ascending in to heaven in the

sun's c h a r io t is to confirm his o r i g i n , and a f t e r his attempt he

was thrown down from heaven. The I s a i a n ic f ig u r e wanted to ascend

in to heaven to be enthroned in the mount o f assembly and to make

h im se lf l i k e the Most High. There is an attempt to usurp the throne

o f the Most High God; somebody is tr y i n g to supplant a god. This

does not occur in the case o f Phaeton.

3. The context o f the Isaian account is not thesame as

the one in the Greek myth e i t h e r . Although I s a ia h 's poem uses

q u it e a number o f images, i t has i t s own i n t e g r i t y and is f a r from

having the same nature as the Greek f a b l e . I n s u f f i c i e n t elements

are present to e s t a b lis h an organic connection between the s to ry

in Isa ia h and th a t in Phaeton's myth. And even i f some o f the

symbols were derived from a common source, i t s t i l l would be

necessary to ask i f the meaning— in a new c o n te xt— is the same or

d i f f e r e n t from the o th e r .

U q a ritic
2
Gunkel was the f i r s t scholar to suggest (1895) th a t we

might have in Isa 14 some m a te ria l o f Phoenician o r i g i n . In 1912

G. B. Gray^ mentioned Phoenicia with c e r t a i n re se rv e. I t was a f t e r

the Ras-Shamra d is c o v e rie s th a t the view th a t Isa 14:12-15 had been

^Despite McKay's ( i b i d . , pp. 456-54) e f f o r t to j u s t i f y the


d if f e r e n c e o f gender o f these two f i g u r e s , the d iffe r e n c e remains.

^Schopfund und Chaos, p. 134. ^Is a ia h I-X X XIX , p. 255.

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83

ins p ire d by U g a r itic mythology flo u ris h e d . In 1932 A lb rig h t sug­

gested, in view of the s t r i k i n g s i m i l a r i t y to the s t y le o f a

Canaanite e p ic , that the passage (vss. 13-15) was a quotation of

the Baal E p ic . 1 De Vaux admits th a t Isaiah is not a te x t p a r a l l e l to


the Ras-Shamra m a t e r i a l , but a ffirm s th a t there are points o f
?
contact between the two bodies o f m a te r ia l. In his a r t i c l e on

Ps 82^ Morgenstern pointed out th a t the o r i g i n a l myth fo r the

m a te ria l o f Isa 14:12-15 and other passages in the OT came from

the Northern Semites. Thus from the 1930s onwards the idea th a t

Canaanite m a te ria l i s behind our passage became the view of most


4
scholars. G relot t r i e d to reconstruct the myth by drawing

e s p e c ia lly upon Greek and U g a r i t i c m a te r ia ls . Based on the root

and meaning o f the proper names in d i f f e r e n t source m a te ria ls in

t h e i r re s p e c tiv e languages,^ in the hybris am bition and immoderate

a t t i t u d e motives of the personages, he a r r iv e d a t the conclusion

th a t the b i b l i c a l prophet im ita te d a prototype o f a Phoenician

^'The North non-Canaanite Epic o f 'A l'e y a n Ba'al and Mot,"


JPOS 12 (1 9 3 2 ):1 9 2 . Cf. JPOS 14 (1 9 3 4 ):1 5 6 , where A lb rig h t says
t h a t the Canaanite myth is quoted "almost v e rb a tim ." Cf. also
A l b r i g h t , Archaeology and the Religion o f Is r a e l (B altim ore: Johns
Hopkins U n iv e r s ity Press, 1 942), p. 84, where 'A shtar is r e la te d
to H e le l; A lb r ig h t held the same view in 1968 ( Yahweh and the Gods
of Canaan, JLCR V II [London: Athlone Press ( U n iv e r s it y of London),
1968], pp. 2 0 1 -2 ); and M i l l e r , The Divine W a r r i o r , p. 23.

^"Les T e x te s , ' 1 p. 547.

^"The Mythological Background," p. 112.

4 Cf. Q u e ll, "Jesaja 14:1-23," p. 156; G r e l o t , " Is a ie 1 4 :1 2 -1 5 ,"


p p . 19-48; W. H. Schmidt, Koniqtum G o tte s , p. 35; Schmidt thinks th a t
in Isa i 4 there is a fusion o f d i f f e r e n t kinds o f mythical streams;
M ullen, The Assembly, p. 148, c a lls the passage a "hig h ly Canaanized
di r g e . “

^Phaeton, Eosphoros, ' A t t a r , H e l e l , being equated to the


m o rn in g -s ta r, or the planet Venus.

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84

myth. He added t h a t , although i t is found in v a r i a n t forms, the

same myth appears in the Greek, U g a r i t i c , and I s r a e l i t e lite ra tu re . 3


2
There seems to be l i t t l e doubt among the scholars tha t

many terms in the Isaian passage are very s i m i l a r to the U g a r itic

m a te ria l and demonstrate points o f c o n ta c t. This they also expect

since I s r a e l occupied the land o f the Canaanites and the two c u ltu re s

were close in several aspects. But beyond the in d iv id u a l elements,

i t has been a ffirm e d that Isa 14:12-15 is a quotation of the "Ashtar

passages1' in the Baal Epic t e x t s . " 3 We now turn to an examination o f

those t e x t s .

Ashtar t e x t s . The most im portant U g a r i t i c t e x t to give

inform ation about the mythic s to ry o f Ashtar is the one belonging


4
to the c a l l e d "Ba'al and Anath1' c y c le . A f t e r the death o f Baal,

G r e lo t , ''Is a ie 1 4 : 1 2 -1 5 ," pp. 24-27. Oldenburg, "Above


the S ta rs o f E l , 1’ pp. 199-200, presented some inform ation about
'A t t a r in South A rabia, but a r r iv e d a t the conclusion th a t the
'A t t a r Myth is not behind Isa 14. On the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of 'A t t a r
and i t s r e l a t i o n to ' A t t r o f the Ras-Shamra t e x t s , see D i t l e f
N ie ls e n , Ras Schamra Mytholoqie und b ib lis c h e Theoloqie AKM 21/4
(L e ip z ig : Deutsche Morgenlandische G e s e lls c h a f t, 1 93 6 ), pp. 53-59.
John Gray, "The Desert God ' A t t r in the L i t e r a t u r e and Religion o f
Canaan," JNES 8 (1 9 4 9 ):7 2 -8 3 ; The Legacy of Canaan, pp. 169-70.

^De Vaux, "Les T e xtes ," pp. 547-55; G r e l o t , " Is a ie 1 4 :1 2 -1 5 ,"


pp. 1 9 -2 4 ; J. Gray, The Legacy, pp. 277-8; Gowan, p. 50.

A l b r i g h t , "The Old Testament," p. 30; Archaeology and the


R e l ig io n , pp. 84, 8 6 . Cf. a ls o G r e l o t , " Is a ie 1 4 : 1 2 -1 5 ," pp. 33-37.

4CTA 1:6.1 40-65; published i n i t i a l l y by Charles V iro lle a u d


("La l u t t e de Mot f i l s des dieux d ' A l e i n , f i l s de B a a l," Syria 12
[1 9 3 1 ] : 1 9 3 - 2 4 4 ) . The standard c r i t i c a l e d itio n was published by
Andree Herdner, Corpus des t a b l e t t e s en cuneiform a lp h ab e tiq u e s ,
MRS 10, 2 v o ls . (P a r is : Imprimerie N a tio n a le , L i b r a i r i e O r i e n t a l i s t e
Paul Geuthner, 1963), pp. 3 7 -4 4 . The present w r i t e r uses the
t r a n s l i t e r a t i o n by C. Gordon ( U g a r i t i c Handbook, AnOr 25 [Rome:
P o n tific iu m In s titu tu m , 1 94 7 ], pp. 1 3 7 -3 8 ), and the English
t r a n s la t i o n by Harold L. Ginsberg in ANER, pp. 139-40.

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85

his s i s t e r Anath came back to E l 's dw elling and,

(40) She l i f t s up her voice and c rie s :


"Now l e t Asherah r e j o i c e and her sons,
Elath and the band o f her kinsmen;
For dead is Puissant Baal J
Perished the P r in c e , Lord o f E a rth ."
Loudly El doth c ry
To Lady Asherah o f the Sea:
(45) "Hark, Lady A[sherah o f the S]ea, ~
Give one o f thy s[ons] I ' l l make k in g ."
Quoth Lady Asherah o f the Sea:
"Why, l e t ' s make Y a d i ' Yalhan ( y d ‘ y lb n ) king."
Answered Kindly One El Benign:
(50) Too weakly . 4 "He c a n ' t race with Baal,
Throw j a v ' l i n w ith Dagon's Son G lory-Crown ! 11:3
Replied Lady Asherah of the Sea:
"W ell, l e t ' s make i t Ashtar the Ty ran t;
(55) Let Ashtar the T y ra n t be k in g ." —
Straightway Ashtar the Tyrant ,
Goes up to the Fastness of Zaphon
(And s its on Baal P uissant's throne.
(But) his f e e t reach not down to the f o o t s t o o l ,
(60) Nor his head reaches up to the to p .^

1 ' A1' iyn b ' l , c f . A l b r i g h t , Archaeology and the R e lig io n ,


p. 195, n. 11.

See CTA, p. 39, n. 6 , f o r commentaries on the m u tila tio n


o f th is l i n e , and b ib lio g ra p h y .

3 C. Gordon ( U g a r itic L i t e r a t u r e : A Comprehensive Translation


o f the P o etic and Prose Texts SPIB 98 [Rome: P o n tific iu m Institu tu m
B iblicum , 1947J, p. 44) has "one who knows how to govern"; see G relo t
( “ Is a i e 1 4 : 1 2 -1 5 ," p. 36, n. 2) f o r more comments on these terms.

4dq anm— "One fe e b le o f frame" (Gordon); " P e t i t encore"


(G re lo t).

^Ktmsm— Gordon has "when the p a rle y is fin is h e d . . . "


Cf. G re lo t ( " I s a i e 1 4 -1 2 -1 5 ," p. 36, n. 4 ).

® 'ttr ' r z — ". . . the t e r r i b l e " (Gordon); " 1 ' arrogant"


(G re lo t).

^Sr r t Spn— "the heights . . . " (Gordon); Pope (p . 103),


follo w s Ginsberg; G relot renders i t "les Sommets . . . " Cf. Langhe,
"Les T e x ts ," 2:240. Sapan was B a a l's holy mountain, and conversely he
was the god o f the mountain Sapan. C f. Kapelrud, B a a l, pp. 57-58.
g
apsh--see Pope, p. 72, f o r discussion o f t h i s term.

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86

So Ashtar the Tyrant declares:


I ' l l not reign in Zaphon's Fastness ! 11
Down goes Ashtar the Tyrant,
Down from the throne of Baal Puissant,
(6 5 ) And reigns^ in E l 's E a r t h , 2 a l l o f i t .

When we compare th is t e x t w ith the Is a ia n ic passage we perceive th a t

some elements could be presented, in both passages, which have some

degree o f s i m i l a r i t y :
3 4
1. Ashtar is c a lle d a t y r a n t . Helel may also be r e fe r r e d
5
to w ith a s im ila r term (u’ i j ) .

2. Ashtar aspires to be king (" t o s i t on . . . th ro n e " ),

to have supremacy.^ Helel aspire s “to set his throne on high . " 7
Q
3. Ashtar in pursuing his a s p ir a tio n s "goes up to the f a s t -
9 10
ness o f Zaphon. Helel aspired to be enthroned "in the f a r n o r th ."

^Grelot tr a n s la te s wymlk " I I va regner. . . ," expressing


the in te n tio n of Ashtar.
2
G relo t p re fe rs "la t e r r e du dieu" ( r e f e r r i n g to Baal,
"Lord of the e arth" [ l i n e 1 5 ] ) .

■^For i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of Ashtar w ith Venus, see N ie ls e n , Ras


Schamra M ytholoqie, p. 58; c f . A. Caquot, "Le Dieu ‘ A th ta r e t les
te x te s de Ras Shamra," S yria 35 (1 9 5 8 ):4 8 —51 ; J. Gray, The Legacy,
pp. 170-78; "The Desert God," pp. 73-83.

4 |t t r ' r z , CTA 1 : 6 . 1 . 5 4 - 5 6 , 62; ET in ANET3 , p. 140.

5Isa 1 4 : 4 - 6 , 12, 16-17. 5CTA 1 : 6 . 1 . 5 5 , 6 8 , 64. 7 Isa 14:13.

^ G relot ( " I s a i e 1 4 : 1 2 -1 5 ," p. 37) disagrees w ith Gordon and


Ginsberg in rendering the 1_ as a negative p a r t i c l e la^ ( i n A s h ta r's
statement: lamlk b s r r t spn) , and proposes i t to be the p a r t i c l e
o f a f f i r m a t i o n 1u (UH 18:10~52 and 1053); t h i s could be a f a i r p o s si­
b i l i t y , despite the circumstances presented in lin e s 31-32.
g
S r r t spn— CTA 1 : 6 . 1 . 5 7 , 62. For i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of Zaphan
g e o g ra p h ic a lly and in Canaanite l i t e r a t u r e , see C L E is s fe ld t, Baal
Zaphon, Zeus Kasios und der Durchzug der I s r a e l i t e n durchs Meer
(H a le : Max Niemeyer V e r la g , 1 932), pp. 1 -6 5 . E is s fe ld t id e n tifie d
Ba'al Saphon with Southern Casius. A lb r ig h t ("The Old Testament,"
p. 31, n. 8 8 ) and Dahood ( Psalms, 1:290) have stated t h a t the expression
7 T 3 s '’ r o -1.'’ is s e m a n tic a lly e q u iv a le n t to the U g a r i t i c S r r t Spn.
Mullen (p . 149) c a l l s our a t t e n t i o n to the i n t e r e s t i n g fa c t th a t
"no t r a d i t i o n w ith in Canaanite mythology associates the assembly

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1 2
4. El appears three times in the t e x t we are examining.

In th is t e x t , as in the Ras-Shamra m a te ria l in g e n e r a l, he is the

supreme god o f the U g a r i t i c pantheon.^ The Is a i a n ic passage also


4
has the term El once.

But i f we have s i m i l a r i t i e s between these two t e x t s , we

fin d also s t r i k i n g d iffe r e n c e s :

1. Ashtar s t r i v e s — i t seems by legal means’’ — to replace Baal

on his^ throne which became vacant by his death. Helel is not

s t r i v i n g to replace a god who d ie d , but is t r y in g to supercede a l l

w ith Ba‘1 or his mountain, and 'El lik e w is e is never associated


w ith Sapan." C f. P. M. F. A bel, Ggoqraphie de la P a l e s t i n e , 2 v o ls .
( P a r is : J. Gabalda e t C ie , 1 9 3 3 -3 8 ), 1:3 85 -8 6 ; 2:260; de Langhe,
Les te x te s 2 :2 17 -4 4 .

' ^ 7 1 3 'i — Isa 14:13. This expression appears also


in Ps 4 8 :3 , and is considered as a reference to the U g a r it ic m a te ria l
c f . G aster, Thespis (1 9 5 0 ), p. 8 6 ; Dahood, Psalms 1:2 89 -9 0 . See
de Langhe, Les Textes 2 :2 3 9 -4 2 , f o r suggestions on the meaning of
the expression. We discuss t h i s in d e t a il in the section on the
b ib lic a l p a r a lle ls .

V o r possible uses o f El as a proper name in the B ib le , see


Cross, Canaanite Myth, pp. 44-46.

2Lines 16, 22, 37.

^Cf. Dussaud, Les Descouverts de Ras Shamra ( U g a r it ) e t


I'A n c ie n Testament (P a r is : Paul Geuthner, 1 9 4 1 ), pp. 91-97; Otto
E i s s f e l d t , El im u q a ritis c h e n Pantheon ( B e r l i n : Akademie Veralg,
1951); Pope, El_, pp. 1-1 5; Kapelrud, The Ras-Shamra D is c o v e rie s ,
pp. 56—62.
4
Isa 14:13. The name o f a god appears once more in the poem
(vs. 5 ) , which some scholars t h i n k , due to the p o e tic s tru c tu re and
the nature o f the passage, is not o r i g i n a l to the lament c f . Cobb,
p. 22; W ildberger, pp. 533-34, 544; but Yahweh is mentioned.

^See Kapelrud, B a a l, pp. 98-100; Pope, El_, pp. 27-32; Gray,


Legacy, pp. 154-69; Michael C. Astour, H e lle n o s e m itic a (Leiden:
E. J. B r i l l , 1 965), p. 270, n. 1; Gowan, p. 60.

®For B a a l's place in the pantheon, his c h a ra c te r and ta s k,


see Kapelrud, B a a l, pp. 8 6-93 .

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88

other "s ta rs of El" and to be " l i k e the most high."^ Thus in

U g a rit the issue is the r u le rs h ip o f B aal, which is not given to


2
Ashtar, but in Is a ia h the issue is about the r u le r s h ip o f E l.

2. The goddesses Anath and Asherah are in te rm e d ia rie s

between Ashtar and E l ; and t h e i r pretensions w ith re ference to

Ashtar a re presented openly. Helel does not have any in te rm ed ia ry,

he t a l k s f o r h im s e lf, seemingly in a s e c re t way ( " i n his h e a r t ' ) . 9

3. Ashtar is not f i t to occupy the throne because "his

fe e t reach not down to the f o o t s t o o l , nor his head reaches up to

the to p . " 4 In the case o f Helel the reason is not e x p l i c i t l y

presented , 8 but i t seems th a t his a t t i t u d e o f s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y

and arrogance could be i d e n t i f i e d as a l i k e l y f a c t o r . 8

4. Ashtar comes down from the throne o f Baal and goes to

reign in E l ' s e a r t h . 7 Helel " is brought down to Sheol, to the depths


Q
of the p i t . " No ru le r s h ip is involved a f t e r his f a l l .

In his e f f o r t s to i d e n t i f y Ashtar with Phaeton, and sub-


g
sequently w ith H e l e l , G relot presents another fragment o f the

^Isa 14:14: ] l 1 V ;. R. Dussaud ( Les Decouverts de Ras


Shamra, p. 170) th in k s the word is a tte s te d in the Ras Shamra
m a t e r ia ls ; Gordon does not inc lude the term in his U g a r i t i c Handbook;
Pope (□ _ , pp. 55, 58) says th a t Elyon is not mentioned, but admits
th a t the e p i t h e t ’ 1y could “be a reminiscence o f Elyon in the e xtant
U g a ritic te x ts ." The term Elyon appears— joined to El — in the
Sujin i n s c r i p t i o n . Cf. S. R on ze v alle , "Fragments d ‘ i n s c r ip tio n s
arameennes des environs d 'A le p ," MUSJ 15 (1 9 3 1 ):2 3 5 - 6 0 . Gaster,
Thespis, p. 8 6 , advocates th a t " 'e ly o n in th is passage need not mean
' the most high' but merely'one o f the upper g o d s '."

^Cf. F r i t z S t o lz , p. 211.

9 Isa 1 4:13. 4l i n e s 3 1-32 . 8Isa 1 4 : .1 3 -1 5 .

^G relot ( " I s a i e 1 4 :1 2 -1 5 ," p. 38) suggests t h a t the language


of the b i b l i c a l t e x t r e la te d to Helel would be in a good s it u a t io n
a t the moment o f the enthronement.

7Lines 35-37. 8 Isa 1 4:15. 9 Pp. 34-35.

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89

Baal poems^— where El requests t h a t Kothar-wa-kha [ s i s ] b u ild a

palace f o r his f a v o r i t e c h ild re n Yamm and Nahar. Ashtar shows his

d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n w ith th a t d ecision and presents his complaints.

This shows A s h ta r's ambition, his impetuous n a tu re , and his

u n r e c e p t i v i t y to advice. This t e x t also shows a d iv in e s o c ie ty f u l l

o f r i v a l r y and in te r n a l d is p u te s. But the t e x t contains c r u c ia l


2
lacunae, e s p e c i a l l y where Ashtar was supposed to t a l k . His argu­

ment concerning the r i v a l r y among the gods has small w eig h t, since

th is i s a common s it u a t io n in many mythical m a t e r ia ls . I t pervades

almost the whole o f U g a r itic mythology and i t would be d i f f i c u l t to

present only the te x ts r e la te d to Ashtar as having th a t i d e n t i f y i n g

c h a r a c te r i s t i c . ^

Another t e x t which has been used to i d e n t i f y the passage in

Is a ia h w ith the U g a r i t i c m a te ria l is the poem about the b i r t h of


4
Dawn and Dusk o r the b i r t h o f the gracious and b e a u t if u l gods.
v 5 ^ 6
This brings the term Sfcir (Dawn) amongside Sim (Sunset) as

^Gordon, UH, Text 1 2 9 :1 -2 4 ; ANET3, p. 129.

2Lines 18-19.

^G relot ( " I s a i e 1 4 : 1 2 - 1 5 ," pp. 33-35) admits the precarious


s i t u a t i o n o f t h i s argument drawn from the t e x t , and the general
c h a r a c te r o f the p a r a lle lis m he has t r i e d to demonstrate.

^ F i r s t published by Ch. V i r o ll e a u d , "La Naissance des dieux


g racieux e t beaux," Syria 14 ( 1 0 3 3 ) :1 28—51. See Herdner, CTA, p. 97
f o r b ib lio g r a p h y and other e d i t i o n s o f the t e x t . The main t r a n s ­
l a t i o n was done by Gordon, UL, pp. 58-62.

^See f o r the occurrences o f the term in a n c ie n t l i t e r a t u r e ,


and the th e s is th a t these two fi g u r e s were a s t r a l d e i t i e s , G aster,
T h e s p is , pp. 228-31.

^ C l i f f o r d (p. 165) th in k s th a t "they are a p p a re n tly the


hypostases o f Ashtar as Venus and "another in d ic a tio n o f the sin g le
s to ry u l t i m a t e l y behind both Is a ia h 14 and CTA 6 . 1 . "

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90

a name f o r a god who is a son of E l , probably through his w ife

Asherah. Based on the in fo rm a tio n given in t h i s t e x t and o thers,

G relot has t r i e d to s o lve the problem of the genealogy o f Ashtar

in a way th a t would f i t it to the ones in the b i b l i c a l and greek

m a te ria lJ by advocating th a t Ashtar could be i d e n t i f i e d as son

o f the dawn. Although he sometimes places an o v e r - r e l i a n c e upon

the mythological in fo rm a tio n — from which he him se lf recognizes we

should not demand p e r fe c t coherence or im m u ta b ility in the m atter

o f genealogy - - t h e r e is no g re a t problem in accepting the ra c t

t h a t Ashtar came to be i d e n t i f i e d w ith Phaeton and, subsequently,

w ith Venus, the morning s t a r . However, the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n o f the

f ig u r e found in Isa 1 4 :1 2 -1 5 — set in a sin gle c o n te xt f r e e o f so

many names and the complicated s it u a t io n so fre q u e n t in the U g a r itic

m a t e r i a l — w ith any one o f the fig u re s of the U g a r i t i c mythology— is a

task which has not y e t been s u c c e s s fu lly accomplished.

Some in d iv id u a l U g a r i t i c mythical expressions and the alleged

p a r a l l e l s in Isaiah 14. Terms o r expressions such as " H e l e l , " "the

stars o f E l , " "the mount o f assembly," and "above the heights of the

clouds" have been presented 2 as mythological references which make

the Isa ia n passage dependent upon the Phoenician model:

% . 40-42. 2 Ib id ., p. 40.

2 0e Vaux, "Les T e x te s ," pp. 547-50; A l b r i g h t , “The Old


Testament," pp. 30-31.

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91

Isaiah Ras Shamra

"Helel Son o f the Dawn", "Dauqhters o f Shouting" (Gordon) ,


(-. - 7 3 7 ■> n ) "Daughters of Joyful noise" (Ginsberg)
( K t r t . b n t . h l 1 . s nnt ) 4

"The Stars of El'' "The s ta rs [ ] " (Gordon)^


(> K —1 2 D T D) (w lkbkbm .kn[-] )7
g
"The Mount o f Assembly" "Convocation o f Assembly" (Gordon)
( i y i a~ i n )8 "Assembled Body" ( G i n s b e r g ) 3 8
(ph r.m ^ll

J3
"Above the. heights o f t h e , ? "Rider o f the Clouds,
Clouds," ( n v ■> n a i ) ^ (r k b . cr p t ) 34

^Vs. 13. ^ U g a r itic L i t e r a t u r e , pp. 63, 64, 87, 8 8 .

3 ANET3 , p. 150.

4CTA 1 : 1 7 . 2 . 2 7 - 4 0 ; CTA 1 : 2 4 . 5 - 6 , 4 0 -4 2 . Cf. de Vaux, "Les


Te xtes ," p. 546. The term H ll (UH, 18, 598) is found in the U g a r i t i c
pantheon as the f a t h e r o f the goddess K t r t , and the term always appears
in the stereotyped formula K t r t . b n t . h l l . s n n t . On the meaning o f the
term, see G r e lo t, " I s a i e 1 4 :1 2 -1 5 ," p. 22, n. 1; see also Ackerman
(pp. 4 1 3 -1 6 ), where he em phasizes--although w ith o u t c e r t a i n t y — F. M.
Cross' suggestion t h a t bn Sim (CTA 1 : 1 . 2 3 . 2 , 22) could be an e p it h e t
o f the gods of Dawn and Dusk and could bear some r e la t i o n to Isa
1 4:12 -1 5 .

^Vs. 13. Pope (El_, p. 103) t r a n s la t e s "the highest s t a r s , "


in which he is follow ed by G. Fohrer ( J e s a ja , 1 :1 7 2 ).

^ U g a ritic L i t e r a t u r e , p. 61.

^CTA 1 : 2 3 . 1 . 5 4 . T. H. Gaster ("A Canaanite R itu a l Drama,


the Spring F e s tiv a l a t U g a r i t , " JAOS 6 6 [ 1 9 4 6 ]:5 4 ) and Rene Largement
(La naissance de I 'A u r o r e . Poeme Mytholoqique de Ras Shamra— U g a r i t ,
AL80 2/11 [Gembloux: J. Duculot, 1 9 4 9 ], p. 43) have wlkbkbm.kn[mj,
"and to the f i x [ e d ] s t a r s . "

^Vs. 13. ^ U g a r itic L i t e r a t u r e , pp. 13, 14; c f . UH 18, 1629.

^ANET3 , p. 130. "Assembled body" = "The assembly o f the


gods," n. 6 .

11 CTA 1 : 2 . 1 . 1 4 , 20, 31. See Pope, El_, pp. 68-69 f o r d is ­


cussion on the " 1 1 " o f t h i s t e x t .

U g a r i t i c L i t e r a t u r e , pp. 15, 18, 19; ANET3 , pp. 132, 133, 137.


Kapelrud ( B a a l, p. 61) p re fe rs " D r iv e r o f the Clouds," and Dahood
(Psalms, 2:136) "The Mounter o f the Clouds." rkb. l r p t is a p oetic

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92

Despite the scholars' e f f o r t s to i d e n t i f y H e le l w ith the U g a r itic

god HI 1 J we do not f in d the term connected w ith any myth th a t could


2
be o ffe r e d as a p a r a l l e l to the passage in Is a ia h .

Concerning the "Stars of E l , 1'^ the a lle g e d U g a ritic p a r a l l e l

t e x t has a lacuna which does not allow us to know what the t e x t once

s a i d , although the expression "stars sons o f El" would f i t the

c o ntext o f the myth. G re lo t suggests Job 3 8 : 7 , where the "morning

s ta r s " are in p a r a l l e l to the "sons o f E lohim ," as another a llu s io n

to t h i s m yth;4 but because of the interchange in use in the OT^

o f El and Yahweh to i d e n t i f y the tru e God, and the use, by Daniel

o f expressions such as "host of heaven" and "host of the sta rs" in

expression which is on ly used in p a r a lle lis m s (see Kapelrud, B a a l,


p. 6 1 ).

14CTA 1 : 2 . 4 . 8 ; 1 : 3 .2 . 4 0 ; 1 : 3 . 3 . 3 5 ; 1 : 4 . 3 . 1 1 : 1 :4 .5 .1 2 2 ;
1 :5 .2 .7 ; etc .

^Ch. V ir o lle a u d , "Hymne phenicien au dieu Nikal e t aux


deesses K o£ar6t," S yria 17 (1 9 3 6 ):214; de Vaux, "Les Textes," p. 546;
c f . G r e lo t , " Is a ie 1 4 : 1 2 -1 5 ," pp. 21-24.
2
The meaning o f the term is discussed in chapter 3.

^For El in the Semitic languages and in the OT, as well as


f o r a good b ib lio g r a p h y , see F. M. Cross, TDOT (Grand Rapids,
MI: Eerdmans, 1974), 1 :2 4 2 -6 1 ; Canaanite M yth, pp. 3-75. We deal
w ith th is term in more d e t a i l in the exegesis o f the Is a ia n ic passage
in chapter 3.

4" I s a i e 1 4 : 1 2 -1 5 ," p. 21; C l i f f o r d ( The Cosmic Mountain, p.


161) says t h a t "they ( s t a r s of E l) are to be i d e n t i f i e d with the mem­
bers of the d iv in e assembly." A lb r ig h t ( Yahweh and the Gods, p. 202,
n. 69) i d e n t i f i e s the "s ta rs o f El" as the circumpolar northern s ta rs
which never set. Cf. also Cross, Canaanite Myth, p. 45.

^Cf. Otto E i s s f e l d t , "El and Yahweh," JSS 1 (1 9 5 6 ):2 5 -3 7;


Cross, Canaanite Myth, pp. 44-75. For b ib lio g r a p h y on the d i s ­
cussion o f the meaning and o rig in o f the name Yahweh, see Cross,
Canaanite Myth, p . 60, n . 1.

6Dan 8:10.

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93

an I s r a e l i t e c o n te x t, i t is not necessary to th in k th a t the Is a ia n ic

expression "the stars of El" is an a llu s io n to the Canaanite myth.

The expression "the mount of assembly," which demands a

"d iv in e c ouncil" or "assembly o f gods," seems to be a "common

r e l i g i o u s motive in the c u ltu r e s of Egypt. Mesopotamia, Canaan,

Phoenicia and Is r a e l ." ^ There is evidence in the OT f o r a heavenly-

assembly or council presided over by God and composed o f created


2
beings, but I s r a e l ' s concept o f a d iv in e assembly— although i t had

some s i m i l a r i t y w ith the one o f the surrounding c u ltu r e s — was

u tiliz e d in d i f f e r e n t ways.^

Several scholars have studied the U g a r i t i c m aterial r e la te d


4
to the "sacred mountain," or "mount o f assembly," and R. C l i f f o r d

has made his research on the ancient Near Eastern r e lig io u s element

'M u lle n , p. 113; f o r discussion o f the d iv in e assembly and


I s r a e l i t e thought, see H. Wheeler Robinson, "The Council o f Yahweh,"
JTS 45 (1 9 4 4 ):1 5 1 - 5 7 ; I n s p ir a t i o n and Revelation in the Old Testament
(Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1 9 4 6 ), pp. 167-90; G. E. W right, The Old-
Testament a gains t I t s Environment SBT 2 (Chicago: Henry Regnery
C o ., 1 9 5 0 ), pp. 30-31. F. M. Cross, "The Council o f Yahweh in Second
Is a i a h , " JNES 12 (1 9 5 3 ):2 7 4 —77; Geo. Widengren, "E a rly Hebrew Myths
and T h e ir I n t e r p r e t a t i o n , " in Myth, R i t u a l , and Kingship, ed. S. H.
Hooke (Oxford: U n iv e r s ity P ress, 1 958), pp. 159-64; Gerald Cooke,
"The Sons o f (t h e ) G od(s)," ZAW 76 ( 1 9 6 4 ):2 2 -4 7 . P. D. M i l l e r , J r . ,
The D iv in e W arrior in E a rly I s r a e l HSM 5 (Cambridge: Harvard
U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1 973), pp. 12-23; M ullen, pp. 113-84.
2
See E. G. W right, Old Testament, pp. 32-33 ; Robinson, "The
Council o f Yahweh," pp. 151 -5 7 ; M ullen, pp. 186-97.

^The assembly in the B ib le was composed o f angels, created


beings; w h ile in the neighboring c u ltu re s i t was formed by gods.
C f. M i l l e r , Divine W a r r io r , p. 66; C l i f f o r d , pp. 139-81.
4
See Herbert Schmid, "Jahwe und d ie K u l t t r a d i t i o n e n von
Jerusalem ," ZAW, NS 26 ( 1 9 5 5 ): 181 ;- Hans J. Kraus, Psalmen, 2 v o ls .
BKAT 15 (Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener, 1 9 6 1 ), pp. 342-45. Kraus
contends th a t Isa 1 4:13-14 serves to e s t a b lis h the i d e n t i t y o f
Saphon w ith the place o f assembly o f the god's pantheon; c f . M ulle n ,
pp. 117-200.

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94

o f “the Cosmic Mountain"' in Canaan and the OT. His conclusions

were th a t "mountains played an important r o le in the r e lig io u s

thought o f the a n c ie n t Near East o f the f i r s t and second m ille n n ia "


2
(B .C .); "the holy mountains held t h e i r sacredness from s p e c ific

b e lie fs . The mountain could be the meeting place o f the d iv in e

assembly"; "under the presidency o f E l , the high god, decisions were

made about d iv in e power which a ffe c te d the order and running of the

cosmos and the l i f e o f the in d iv id u a l b e l i e v e r " ; "the c o n f l i c t

evide nt in l i f e was a r e f l e c t i o n o f primal events on the mountain."^

The mountains were cosmic in these and oth e r senses.

I t was a ls o found th a t "elements o f the Canaanite t r a d i t i o n s

o f the mountains o f El have influenced I s r a e l i t e t r a d i t i o n s of Sinai

. . . where Yahweh issues His decrees, although the d iv in e assembly


4
plays no ro le in the Exodus t r a d i t i o n . " On Sinai Yahweh has His

t e n t — a copy o f His heavenly one— which mediates His presence to

His people. One must emphasize, however, the i n t e r e s t i n g f a c t th a t

a f t e r the I s r a e l i t e s l e f t Baal Zaphon5 (Gebel AtSqah), they go south

to S i n a i . 5 Could i t be a d e lib e r a t e c o n tra s t chosen by Yahweh?

B a a l's mountain Zaphon is a place o f combat in which issues

^See his d e f i n i t i o n s in The Cosmic Mountain, pp. 3, 7, 33,


97, 190.

^ Ib id . , p. 190.

^ C l i f f o r d , p. 191. For lo c a tio n o f E l ' s d w e llin g , see Cross,


Canaanite Myth, pp. 36-39.

^ C l i f f o r d , p. 191; see also pp. 107, 123, 180-81.

5Exod 1 4 :2 .

5 I am indebted to Or. W illia m Shea f o r t h i s o b s erv a tio n .

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95

of l i f e and death are decided,^ and Mount Zion becomes the new
2
Zaphon.

A f t e r examining the U g a r i t i c and I s r a e l i t e m a te ria l on the

“D ivin e Council" and "Mount o f Assembly," we fin d th a t both sources

present the "assembly o f the gods (o r d iv in e b e in g s )." In U g a rit

the assembly is formed by gods presided over by E l, the head of the

U g a r i t i c pantheon; in Is ra e l Yahweh presides over the council

formed by a n g e ls .

The elements o f the t r a d i t i o n s o f the U g a r it ic mount of El —

where the god dw ells and where the assembly meets, and issues that

a f f e c t the universe are decided— and B a a l's mountain, Zaphon (a

combat place where issues o f l i f e and death are d e c id e d ), have

influenced the phraseology the I s r a e l i t e s employ in t h e i r t r a d i t i o n s

of Zion. In U g a r it and Is r a e l e a r t h l y holy mountains are connected

with the holy mountains in the heavenly sphere. A major d iffe r e n c e

here, however, is th a t El is fr ig h te n e d by the attacks from lesser

gods, and Baal has p e r io d ic a l d e fe a t on t h e i r mountains, but Yahweh

is never a f r a i d o r defeated on His holy mountain w ith o u t His per­

sonal agreement. I t thus becomes a symbol o f the secure place.

Summarizing we would say t h a t th e re are s i m i l a r i t i e s and

d iffe r e n c e s between the two sources o f m a te ria l on the m a tte r th a t

lead us to b e l i e v e , with Cross,^ t h a t the r e lig io n o f Is r a e l is not

C l i f f o r d , pp. 97, 137 -7 0 , 192.

21 b id . , pp. 131-40, 1 5 3 -6 0 , 192.

^Canaanite Myth, p. v i i i ; Cross c r i t i c i z e s Yehezkel Kaufmann


( The R e lig io n o f I s r a e l , tr a n s . Moshe G r e e n b e r g [Chicago: U n iv e r s ity
Press, 1960J , p. 2) f o r i n s i s t i n g th a t I s r a e l i t e r e l i g i o n "was
a b s o lu te ly d i f f e r e n t from anything the pagan world e ve r knew,"
saying th a t his a t t i t u d e " v i o la t e s fundamental p o s tu la te s of
s c i e n t i f i c h i s t o r i c a l method."

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96

an " is o la te d phenomenon, r a d i c a l l y or w holly discontinuous with i t s

environm ent." Although we agree to some e xten t w ith Kaufmann th a t

"fo re ig n elements did not play a s u b s t a n t i a l , c r e a tiv e ro le in the

form ation o f the popular culture"^ o f I s r a e l , we cannot avoid the

f a c t t h a t th e re are in the Hebrew t r a d i t i o n s mythical phraseology

which is found in other t r a d i t i o n a l sources, as, f o r example,

U g a ritic . Whether they "are common elements in myths and customs

o f d i f f e r e n t peoples due to common circumstances or something basic


2
to human n a tu r e ," or “are to be explained as the r e s u l t o f d i f ­

fusion from an o r ig in a l source,"^ we do not t o t a l l y know. On the

o th e r hand, as Gowan says, "to e s t a b lis h areas o f c u lt u r a l c o n t in u it y

is not n e c e s s a rily to determine the meaning o f the symbols involved


4
f o r the people who used them.

B a a l's e p i t h e t , " r i d e r o f the clouds,"^ appears several times

in U g a r i t i c l i t e r a t u r e ^ and r e c a l l s to us the expression "heights o f

1 2
The Relig ion of I s r a e l , p. 3. Gowan, p. 53.

^ I b i d . ; Gowan p re fe rs the former view, although he sees an


e f f e c t i v e d i f f u s i o n w ith in the Middle East.

41b i d .

^Baal probably has t h i s e p i t h e t because in being a f e r t i l i t y


god, the ra in -g o d , he is commadned to go down to the e a rth and take
along wind, clouds, and storm. Says Kapelrud ( B a a l, p. 9 4 ) , "Rain,
storm and clouds were no a cc id e n ta l or occasional a t t r i b u t e s o f B aal.
They were parts o f his whole c h a ra c te r and to such an e xten t th a t he
had to take them w ith him even when he was obliged to descend in to
the e a r t h . The close connection o f the r a in w ith Baal could give i t
i t s p o e tic a l name: the ra in o f the Rider o f Clouds, rbb. rkb ' r p t ,
mentioned p a r a l l e l w ith the dew o f heaven and the f a t of earth [ t ] l .
smm. 5mn. a r § , f n t : I I : 3 9 f . "

^Fourteen times. See p. 9 2 , n . 14 f o r te x ts where the


expression occurs.

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97

the clouds"' ( ny u i 32 ) o f Isa 14:14. However the Is a ia n ic

passage is t a lk in g about Helel ben Shahar, who undoubtedly is not


2
Baal. Cloud imagery is very o fte n used in the OT, including

passages where God ( d t Cp x ) is presented as one "who rides upon

the c lo uds,"^ "(who) is r i d i n g on a s w i f t c lo u d ," 4 "who makes the


5
clouds His c h a r io ts ." Ps 68:34 r e fe r s to the one who "rides in

the heavens, the ancient heavens,"*’ and Ps 18:11 presents, "He rode

on a cherub, and fle w , he came s w i f t l y upon the wings o f the

wind."^ The two verses which fo llo w show th a t his f l i g h t was

through his clouds.

G relot has observed t h a t " a y ne designe pas i c i (s e m b le -t -i 1)

The expression coold r e f e r only to the h e ig h t, or th a t the


f ig u r e wanted to ascend "upon the backs o f the c lo uds," i . e . , as
Baal and Yahweh (Ps 68:4; 1 0 4 : 3 ) . Cf. M. Dahood, "Hebrew-Ugaritic
Lexicography I , " Bib 44 ( 1 9 6 3 ):3 0 2 ; C. Fensham ("Winged Gods and
Goddesses in the U g a r itic T a b l e t s , " Or Ant 5 [1 9 6 6 ]:1 6 1 ) a ffirm s
t h a t the expression "has nothing to do with a f l y i n g Baal with wings,
but r a th e r w ith a c h a r io te e r who d rive s the clouds o f heaven."
2
The imagery is used more than one hundred times. Cf. Andre
F e u i l l e t , "Le F i l s de I'homme de Daniel e t la t r a d i t i o n b i b l iq u e , "
RB 60 ( 1 9 5 3 ):1 8 7 - 8 . See J. Luzarraga, Las T r a d itlo n e s de la Nube en
la B i b l i a y en el Judaismo P r i m i t i v o , An Bib 54 (Rome: B ib !ic a l
I n s t i t u t e Press, 1973), f o r e x ten s ive study on the cloud theme in
the B ib le .

^ m a a y a a i ~ i , Ps 6 8 : 4 ( 5 ) . John Hastings Patton ( Canaanite


P a r a l l e l s in the Book o f Psalms [B a ltim o re : Johns Hopkins Press, 1944],
p. 2 0 ); H. L. Ginsberg, "The U g a r i t i c Texts and Textual C r i t i c i s m , "
JBL (1 9 4 3 ):1 1 2 , n. 6; and A l b r i g h t , "The Old Testament," pp. 25-26;
follow ed by Kapelrud ( B a a l, p. 61) who thinks t h a t in Ps 68:4
Yahweh is described in p ic tu r e s taken from the Canaanite storm-god
Baal. Cf. also Dahood, Psalms 2:136.

Sp iy -p y a a a m n 1 , Isa 19:1.

5i a i D P , ps 104:3.

6a - p - ■> o 3 ■>o j a aa a .

3 :3 _r ; v ^p i r v ; a a a ■>.

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98

les nuees en mouvement, portentes de la p lu ie fecondante, mais

p l u t o t la nue immobile ou se dissim ule le trefonds du c ie l (yarrkethe

Saphon! ) . 1,1 Thus the p o s s i b i l i t y of borrowing should not be pressed.

As we said above, cloud imagery is o fte n used in the OT,

and more than h a l f o f those instances associate clouds w ith the

m a n ife s ta tio n or in te r v e n tio n o f Yahweh. Luzzarraga concludes that

"the coming on" the clouds is an e x c lu s iv e ly d iv in e a t t r i b u t e


2
( Is a 1 9 :1 , Ps 104:3, e t c . ) . When the prophet uses the cloud

imagery in the Is a ia n t e x t , he seems to be aware o f the f a c t th a t

Helel in his pretensions wanted to usurp the d iv in e p re r o g a tiv e s ,

to be on a le v e l t h a t only God could occupy. Taking in to account

the nature o f the d e s c rip tio n and the contextual s e t t i n g , and the

common use o f cloud imagery, i t seems more lo g ic a l to th in k th a t even

though th e re could have been some s i m i l a r i t y in the use o f terms and

p ic tu re s due to c u l t u r a l c o n t i n u i t y or common elements in the ancient

Near Eastern a r e a , the Hebrew m a te ria l and p r i o r b i b l i c a l p a r a l l e l s

may well have been the source ( i f a source was necessary) f o r the

prophet's term inology or imagery.

B ib lic a l L ite ra tu re

Since the times o f the Church Fath e rs, some B ible I n t e r ­

p re te rs have i d e n t i f i e d the fig u r e o f the Isa ia n passage as Satan.

This i n t e r p r e t a t i o n has, in a l l p r o b a b i l i t y , been a ffe c te d by the

presence o f t h i s view in pseudepigraphical^ as w ell canonical

' " I s a i e 1 4 : 1 2 -1 5 ," p. 28, n. 4. 2Luzzarraga, p. 201.

2As , f o r example, 1 Enoch 8 6 .1 . See Morgenstern, "The


Mythological Back"r*n,md p p . 9 5-105, f o r more discussion on them.

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99

lite ra tu re .^ Here those b i b l i c a l passages which are o ld e r than or

contemporary to the Isaian one are considered a possible-source

f o r some Church Fathers' concepts found on th is passage.

There is no doubt th a t the passage which resembles Isa 14

most (as has been perceived since the times o f the Church Fathers)

is Ezek 28; but since th a t t e x t is going to be studied along with

the Isaian passage in the next c h a p te r, i t does not need to be con­

sidered here.

In his studies on the mythological background o f Ps 82,

Morgenstern a r r iv e d a t the conclusion th a t there were a t le a s t two


2
myths th a t "had been c u rre n t f o r a considerable period" o f time in

Is r a e lit e c irc le s . As evidence f o r t h i s , he suggests a r e la tio n s h ip

w ith passages such as Gen 6 : 1 - 4 , Ps 8 2 , Isa 14:12-15 and Ezek 28:

1 2 -1 9 .^ Let us consider b r i e f l y the f i r s t two passages.

Gen 6 : 1 - 4

This passage has been a m a tte r o f debate from the beginning


4
o f the C h ris tia n Era— i f not be fore . Scholars are f a r from

Luke 10:18; 2 Cor 1 1 :1 4 ; Rev 1 2 :7 -9 .


o
The myth o f the " f a l l e n ones" (Morgenstern, "Mythological
Background," pp. 8 6 -8 8 , 106-14) which had developed in two " d i f f e r e n t
and q u ite d iv e rg e n t versions": (a ) the sin o f the f a l l e n angels
consisted in " re fu s a l to obey God's command and do homage to Adam
because o f his having been created in God's image"; (b) the sin of
“r e b e l l i o n a g a in s t the D e ity and Satan's attempt to set his throne
above the clouds . . . and to supplant . . . the r u l e r o f the
universe" (pp. 1 0 7 -8 ). The oth e r myth, which Morgenstern thinks
Gen 6 : 1 - 3 r e la t e s to more c lo s e ly , was the one concerning the con­
s o rt between angels who came from heaven w ith human women in the
times of Noah.

^See a lso M ullen, pp. 2 3 8 -4 4 , who adhered to the same idea.

4See Gustav E. Closen, Die Sunde der "Sohne G o tte s ," SPIB
(Rome: P o n t i f i c a l B i b l i c a l I n s t i t u t e , 1937).

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100

reaching a consensus on the ‘i n t e r p r e t a t io n o f th is t e x t J

Morgenstern in his study has used the root 3 3 — Gen 6 : 4 ) ,

which also appears in Ps 82:7 and Isa 1 4 :1 2 , as the connecting point

between those passages. He thinks they were developed from the

myth of the f a l l e n angels. Such a connection with Gen 6 : 1 - 4 may

be po s sib le , but th a t s t i l l would not provide evidence f o r the o r ig in

o f the concept found in Isa 14 and Gen 6. Most o f Morgenstern' s

See, fo r comprehensive b ib lio g ra p h y on the passage, C.


Westerman, Genesis 2 :4 9 1 -9 3 , 500-17. Exegetes have advanced four
main i n t e r p r e t a t io n s concerning t h i s passage: (1 ) The Angel I n t e r ­
p r e t a t i o n , which sees the "Sons o f God" who sinned w ith the
"daughters o f man" as being angels. This view is the o ld e s t one and
was held by a great number o f Church Fathers and many contemporary
scholars today such as U. Cassuto, A Commentary on the Book o f Genesis,
2 v o l s . , tr a n s . Is r a e l Abrahams (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, Hebrew
U n i v e r s i t y , 1961), pp. 291-96; Zimmerli ( 1 Mose 1 - 1 1 , ZBK [Z u ric h :
Zwingle V erla g , 1 967], pp. 2 6 1 -6 6 ); G. von Rad ( Genesis, OTL
[ P h ila d e lp h ia : Westminster Press, 1 96 1 ], pp. 1 0 9 -1 2 ), e t c . For more
comments and b ib lio g r a p h y , see a ls o : Closen, Die Sunde der "So'hne
G otte s ," p. 1; Jesus Enciso, "Los 'H ijo s de Dios' en Gn 6 : 1 - 4 , " Est
Bib 3 ( 1 9 4 4 ) :189-227; F. Dexinger, Sturz der Gottersohne Oder Engel
vor der S i n t f l u t ? WBTh, 13 (Vienna: Herder & C o ., 1 96 6 ). (2 ) The
Mythology I n t e r p r e t a t i o n , which i n t e r p r e t s the phrase “ sons of God"
as r e f e r r i n g to "d iv in e beings." S t a r t in g with Gunkel, ( Genesis,
p. 5 1), t h i s view has been exposed by several d is tin g u is h e d scholars
such as: C h ild s , Myth and R e a l i t y , p. 49; G. Cooke, "The Sons of
( t h e ) G od(s)," pp. 22-47; W. H. Schmidt, "Mythos im A lte n
Testament," EvTh 27 (1 9 6 7 ):2 3 7 -5 4 ; 0. L o r e tz , Schopfunq und Mythos
S8S 32 ( S t u t t g a r t : Verlag Katholisches Bibelwerk, 1 9 6 8 ), pp. 32-48,
and o th e rs . (3 ) The Nobles ( r u l e r s ) I n t e r p r e t a t i o n s , which advo­
cates t h a t the "sons o f God1 were members o f the noble f a m i li e s who
married women o f humble social l e v e l , "The daughters o f men." Among
the defenders o f t h i s view we have M. Kline ("D iv in e Kingship and
Genesis 6 : 1 - 4 , " WTJ 24 [ 1 9 6 2 ]:1 8 7 - 2 0 4 ); f o r another suggested l i n k
o f th is passage w ith k in gship, see E. G. K r a e lin g , "The S ig n ific a n c e
and O rig in o f Gen 6 : 1 - 4 , " JNES 6 {1 9 4 7 ):1 9 3 -2 0 8 - (4 ) The Pious
and Wicked Mixed Marriage I n t e r p r e t a t i o n , which i n t e r p r e t s the
expression "Sons o f God," to mean the godly men descendants of
Seth and the "daughters o f men" are understood as the r e s t o f the
people, or s p e c i f i c a l l y the C a in ite s . Among the supporters of
th is view we fin d G. E. Closen, H. C. Leupold ( E xposition o f Genesis
[Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1 95 6 ], pp. 2 4 9 -6 0 ); J. Murray
( P r in c ip le s o f Conduct [Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1 9 5 7 ], pp.
2 4 3 -4 9 ); e tc !

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101

argument is based on what e x t r a - b i b l i c a l w r i t e r s have said about the

passage in Genesis, and £hat l i t e r a t u r e was w r i t t e n many years a f t e r

the Is a i a h 's time.

Psalm 82

In his study Morgenstern a rriv e d a t the conclusion th a t Ps 82^

p ic tu re s the judgment procedure o f Yahweh in the assembly of the gods


2
or angels--members of the host o f heaven— upon the new y e a r 's day.

On t h i s occasion he pronounces t h e i r punishment o r f a t e , which was

the loss o f im m o rta lity . According to Morgenstern, the background

o f p a r t o f th is Psalm^ was o f Canaanite o r ig in and came from a myth—

The date o f the m a te r ia l of the Psalm is very much debated;


W. Schmidt ( Koniqtum G o tte s , p. 41) thinks i t is very a n c ie n t; J. S.
Ackerman (pp. 441-42) m aintains th a t th is Psalm o r ig in a t e d in the
pre-monarchial pe rio d ; Dahood supports the view. S. Mowinckel ( The
Psalms in I s r a e l ' s Worship, tr a n s . D. R. Ap-Thomas [Oxford: Basil
B la c k w e ll, 1 962], 1:221) assigns the Psalm to the l a t e r monarchy
p e rio d . 0. E is s f e l d t ( I n t r o d u c t i o n , p. I l l ) a s c rib e s i t to David's
time; A. Gonzales, “Le Psaume L X X XII," £T 13 ( 1 9 6 3 ):3 0 9 ; Morgenstern,
"Mythological Background," p. 121.

^ I b i d . , p. 114. C f. Mowinckel, Psalms, 1 :1 50 , 2:132.

^He advocates th a t vss. 2-4 do not belong to the o r i g i n a l


Canaanite poem, and vs. 5 was an a ddition to connect vss. 2 -4 to
vss. 6 -7 ; and vs. 8 was not an in te g r a l p a r t o f the o r ig in a l Psalm.
The redaction was made in o rd e r to adapt i t f o r in c o rp o ra tio n in to
the o f f i c i a l l i t u r g y o f the Jerusalem Temple and to remove the
s to ry o f the crime of the f a l l e n angels which was adverse to the
e t h i c a l standard o f the people a f t e r the e x i l e . The m a te ria l
(vss. 2 - 5a) about the denunciation o f the c o rru p t e a r t h l y judges
would be more a ppropriate to the s e t t in g . For a survey o f the i n t e r ­
p r e t a t io n o f th is Psalm, see E. G. W right, The Old Testament, pp.
3-41. Among those who defend the i n t e g r i t y o f the passage are T. 0.
Callaghan ("A Note on the Canaanite Background o f Psalm 8 2 ," C3Q 15
[1953J.-311-14) who also uses U g a r i t i c p a r a l l e l s and s ta te s th a t
vss. 2 -4 belong to the o r i g i n a l poem and increases our respect f o r
the transm ission o f the consonantal t e x t . C f. a lso i b i d . , "Echoes
of Canaanite L i t e r a t u r e in the Psalms," VT 4 (1 9 5 4 ):1 7 3 - 7 4 ; Gonzalez,
"Lc Psaume 8 2 ," pp. 293-309; and R. J. Tournay ("Les Psaumes Com­
p le x e s ," RB 56 [ 1 9 4 9 ] : 5 0 - 5 3 ) , who thinks the passage i s w ell pre­
served (a ls o Kraus, Psalmen, 2:509) and th a t M orgenstern1s exegesis

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102

which had developed i t s e l f in several versions^— which talke d about

the f a l l o f c e r t a i n angels from heaven because o f disobedience or

re b e llio n . He goes on to say th a t i t is impossible not to i d e n t i f y

th is o ld e r version of the myth with th a t o f the f a l l o f Helel ben


2
Shahar in Isa 14:12 -1 4 . He contends th a t the phrase nm

"in 2 " 7 n f o r the reading n ■> ~i tin in vs. 7 “would be

m e t r i c a l l y p e r f e c t , and would unquestionably be f a r more vigorous

and e f f e c t i v e than the present reading.^ Thus to a c e r t a in e x te n t,


4
Morgenstern1s contention i s th a t Ps 82 and Isa 14:12 -1 5 are p a r a l l e l .

is very exaggerated. The most thorough study on Psalm 82 is


Ackerman's d is s e r t a t i o n on the exegesis o f those e ig h t verses; he
c o r r e c t l y defends the i n t e g r i t y o f the passage.
M. Tsevat (pp. 123 -3 4 ) makes an i n t e r e s t i n g i n t e r p r e t a t io n o f
th is Psalm, saying th a t "the Psalm o ffe r s no te x t u a l or l i n g u i s t i c
d i f f i c u l t i e s ” (p . 126), and “Psalm 82 shares w ith Deut 32 the myth o f
the 'a l lo t m e n t ' o f the n a tio n s , whose number He determined by the
number o f the sons o f 'G o d /E l' . . . (see Deut 3 2 : 8 - 9 ; c f . Tsevat,
pp. 132 -3 3 ) . . . Ps 82 must be seen as a h i s t o r i c a l Psalm, h i s t o r i c
in the sense t h a t whatever i t s d a te , the thought expressed in i t
represents a watershed in the h is to r y o f id e a s . The poem presents
two views of the gods, an e a r l i e r one and a l a t e r one, the former
and p r e v a i l in g one y ie l d i n g d ra m a tic a lly to the new and true one.
. . . I t centers on a v is io n of the d iv in e c o u n c il , the v is io n a ry
response to the judgment made in th a t c o u n c il, and judgment and
response to g e th e r herald the end o f paganism" (p . 1 34 ). See also
T s e v a t's statement on " a c t u a l i t y " and " n o n a c t u a lit y ," p. 125.

Vp. 95-114. The v e rs io n s , he says, were o r i g i n a l l y inde­


pendent.

^ I b i d . , p. 108. He views Ezek 2 8 :1 1 -1 6 as r e f e r r i n g to the


same myth.

■^See Tsevat (p. 131) f o r c r i t i c i s m o f M orgenstern' s in t e r p r e ­


ta tio n . He a ffir m s th a t “the psalm te x t h a rd ly bears the weight of
th is (M orgenstern' s) exegesis. . . . I f Ps 8 in i t s mythology makes
re fe re n c e to another myth the name o f whose c h i e f p ro ta g o n is t (be i t
Helel ben Sahar or another) was g e n e ra lly known, th is name could
h a rd ly remain unmentioned in our Psalm passage because i t s bearer is
to serve as an example ( c f . Isa 6 5 : 1 5 ); anonymous examples are not
l i k e l y to be exemplars." Mullen (pp. 241-42) also c r i t i c i z e s Morgen­
stern ‘ s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n and proposes an a l t e r n a t i v e suggestion such as
having "shining ones" f o r m m and "Adam" f o r m s , as a reference
to the r e v o l t o f the f i r s t man against God.

^At l e a s t four i n t e r p r e t a t io n s have been proposed concerning

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103

Morgenstern has been c r i t i c i z e d f o r t h i s view because o f

the way he tears the "composition to pieces on tenuous evidence

in order to re b u ild i t according to his own notions."^ He has


2
in view the u n s a tis fa c to r y l i t e r a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of Psalm 82,

which was drawn, using W rig h t's words, from "the large amount o f

evidence in the 0T f o r the heavenly assembly or c o u n c il, presided

the beings condemned to death in the Psalm: (1 ) they are I s r a e l i t e


r u le r s and judges; ( 2 ) they are the r u le r s and judges of the n a tio n s ;
( 3 ) they are gods, members o f the d iv in e assembly; (4 ) they a re a
combination o f the second and t h i r d combinations presented above.
For a discussion o f the i n t e r p r e t a t io n s presented, see Ackerman,
pp. 1 -7 8 ; Hans W. Jungling , Per Tod der G o t t e r , SBS 38 ( S t u t t g a r t :
Katholisches Bibelwerk, 1 969), pp. 11-37; and M ullen, pp. 2 28-38.
The fo u r th i n t e r p r e t a t io n does not destroy the u n ity of the t e x t as
does Morgenstern1s view, n e ith e r does i t a pply the passage t o t a l l y
on the e a r t h l y or human realm. M u lle n 's conclusions are th a t vs. 7
is the clim ax o f the psalm" and may r e f l e c t a myth o f the r e v o l t o f
the gods in heaven," although he be lie v e s t h a t " th is r e v o l t is not
the reason f o r t h e i r condemnation," but "the myth of the r e b e l l i o u s
gods is used here, however, to emphasize the f a t e o f the gods who
f a i l e d to c a r r y out t h e i r appointed fu n c tio n s " (p . 238).

^G. E. W right, The Old Testament, p. 32; c f . also O 'C allaghan,


"A N ote," pp. 311-14; Tournay, pp. 50-53; Louis Jacquet, Les Psaumes
e t le coeur de 1 ‘ homme, 3 v ols. (Gembloux: Duculot, 1 97 5 -7 9),
2 :2 8 9 -9 9 .
2
Such as, f o r example, W r ig h t's , pp. 34-41; he uses several
r e s o rts such as the occurrence o f syncretism and the f i g u r a t i v e
use o f the language to j u s t i f y his views. Here would be in ord e r
H. W. Robinson's "The C o u n c il," p. 151, warning:
"One o f the c h ie f p e r r i l s in the exegesis o f ancient w r i t i n g s
is t h a t we should take f i g u r a t i v e l y t h a t which in o r ig in was
meant q u ite r e a l i s t i c a l l y . I t is easy to fo r g e t th a t the
whole outlook o f the a n cie n t w r i t e r was in important respects
very d i f f e r e n t from our own. He could say and mean something
which i t would be impossible f o r us to say and mean in any
l i t e r a l sense, j u s t because o f the mass o f knowledge, or o f
half-know ledge, which enters in to the modern Weitanschauunq
and s harply separates i t from th a t o f the a ncie nt world. To
r e a l i z e t h i s , in i t s many r a m i f i c a t i o n s , requires laborious
pa tien ce and constant watchfulness. Even the professed
student w i l l often take the short cut o f c a l l i n g the a n c ie n t
usage a f ig u r e o f speech. That can be p e r il o u s , not only
because i t can rob us o f the deeper h i s t o r i c a l meaning, but

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104

over by God and composed o f d iv in e a tte n d e n ts , he rald s , and admin­

is tra to rs ."^ In a d d itio n Morgenstern added to the context o f vss.

1, 6-7 passages such as 1 Kgs 22:19 -2 3 (= 2 Chr 1 8 : 1 8 -2 1 ); Job


9
1 :6 -1 2 and 2 : l - 7 a , e tc .^ We tend to view Ps 82 as o f f e r i n g p a r a l l e l

elements to Isa 1 4:12 -1 5 .^ Isa 14:13 t a lk s about the "mount of

assembly" as a place where the Most High s i t s enthroned. Ps 82:1

speaks about God taking His place in the "Divine C o u n c il." Isa

1 4:12-15 speaks about someone who liv e d in heaven and t r i e d to

usurp God's p re ro g a tiv e s , but who is said to have been thrown to

the e a rth and then to the depths o f the p i t , or grave. This means

th a t fi g u r e would, sooner or l a t e r , meet death. Ps 8 2 :6 -7 speaks

because i t opens the way to q u ite a r b i t r a r y uses o f the word


or words in question."
Cf. W. H. Schmidt ( Konigtum, pp. 4 0 - 4 3 ) , who says a f t e r his i n t e r ­
p r e ta tio n o f the psalm, " S o ilt e n diese zugestandenermassen unsicheren
Vermutungen z u t r e f f e n , " p. 42.

^The Old Testament, pp. 32-33. See also Robinson, "The


C o u n c il," pp. 151-57; Morgenstern, "The Mythological Background,"
pp. 40-43; M ullen, pp. 113-20. The d iv in e council is designated
in the 0T by the terms, m 7 x n o (Job 1 5 : 8 ) ; 2 ■>3 2 P - 2 i 2 (Ps
8 9 : 8 ) ; m n 1 i l o (J e r 2 3 : 1 8 , c f . vs. 2 2 ); o v 3 i P > rr ? (Ps 8 9 : 6 ) ;
P x ~ n 2 y (Ps 8 2 : 1 ) . The members o f the Council are c a l l e d ,
z j ' T T P k - ■> j 2 (Gen 6 : 2 , 4; Job 1 :6 , 2 : 1 ) ; □ T T P X 1 J 3 (Deut 3 2 : 8 ) ;
2 ■> P x ^ 3 2 (Ps 2 9 : 1 ) ; l i ^ V ’’ i n (Ps 8 2 : 6 ) ; 2 ■» n P « “ P 2
(Ps 9 7 : 7 ) . For the use o f i n as meaning "assembly" or "council" in
Amos 8 :1 4 and other b i b l i c a l passages, as well as in a n c ie n t Near
Eastern l i t e r a t u r e , see Frank J. Neuberg, "An Unrecognized Meaning
of Hebrew Dor," JNE5 9 (1 9 5 0 ):2 1 5 - 1 7 ; P. R. Ackroyd, "The Meaning
of Hebrew 2 i 2 Considered," JSS 13 ( 1 9 6 8 ):3 -1 0 . See also 1 Kgs
2 2 :1 9 -2 3 ; 2 Chr 1 8:18 -2 1 ; IsS” 5 : l - 8 , 2 4 :2 1 -2 2 . As scholars have
pointed o u t, the terminology de sig n a tin g the assembly and the members
o f the d iv in e council in U g a r i t i c and Hebrew are mentioned in s i m i l a r
terms, showing a common t r a d i t i o n . For comments on those terms in
both l i t e r a t u r e s , see W right, p. 33; Cross, "The C o u n c il," pp. 274-77;
M i l l e r , pp. 1 2-23, 66-74.
7
M u lle n 's (pp. 226 -4 4 ) i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of Ps 82 which suggests
th a t "the beings condemned to d ie (vs. 7) are gods ( 7 1 ’’ 7 V 1 : :
2 ' 1 n 7 x ; ) , the members o f Yahweh's c o u n c il, and not human r u le r s or
judges" is a t t r a c t i v e and less h u r tf u l to the t e x t than Morgenstern' s .

^And Ezek 28.

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105

about some members o f the Divine C o u n c ilJ who because o f some


2 J 4
fa u lt would die l i k e men, or become m orta l.

In d iv id u a l Elements

As f a r as the in d iv id u a l elements and terms o f the Isaian

passage are concerned, we f in d b i b l i c a l p a r a l l e l s f o r s e v e r a l.

We have a lready mentioned the cloud imagery, which is v ery often

used in the OT;^ the "s ta rs o f God ( E l ) " "are to be i d e n t i f i e d

w ith the members o f the d iv in e assembly,"^ which are present in

passages such as Job 1 : 6 , 2 : 1 , 3 8 :7 ; Ps 2 9 :1 , 8 2 :1 , 6 - 7 ; e t c . The

imagery of "bringing down" or "going down to the grave" and the

"depths o f the p i t , " found in vs. 15, occurs in Ps 8 8 : 4 - 6 , 7 and

Ezek 26:20; the expression n t - - 1 n D i 1 occurs also in Ezek

V o r the fu n c tio n o f the assembly or d iv in e council in


Mesopotamian, U g a r i t i c , and I s r a e l i t e thought, see M i l l e r , pp.
1 2-23, 66-73; M ullen, pp. 175-209, 226-44.
2
Mesopotamian, U g a r i t i c , and I s r a e l i t e d e p ic tio n s o f the
heavenly assembly present the leader o f the council as the one who
pronounces the judgment upon gods and men. See r e f . n. 1 above.

^0r " l i k e Adam," M ullen, p. 230.


4
Yahweh is judge o f human beings as w ell as o f d iv in e beings;
see Job 4 :1 7 -1 8 ; Isa 2 4 :2 1 . Cf. M ulle n , pp. 226-44 (e s p. p. 2 3 6 ).
who presents he lp fu l p a r a l l e l s from U g a r i t i c and Mesopotamia— on the
punishment o f the gods because o f t h e i r f a i l u r e to e x e r t j u s t i c e in
b e h a lf o f the oppressed ones— in r e l a t i o n to the Hebrew thought; he
supports Morgenstern' s view in the aspect o f the heavenly assembly.

^See above pp. 9 6 -9 8 . ^ C l i f f o r d , p. 161, n. 84.

7 We do not know f o r sure the date th is psalm was w r itte n


(Briggs [ Psalms, 2 : 2 4 4 ] , based on the content and fo llo w in g ancient
commentators, explains t h i s psalm as a "n a tio n a l lament during the
extreme d is tr e s s o f the e x i l e " ; c f . also Jacquet, pp. 670, 6 7 4 ),
but the imagery was c u r re n t in the I s r a e l i t e m ilie u .

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106

32:23.^ Concerning vss. 13ab and 14b, the hybris a t t i t u d e was a

common one in the a ncie nt Near East, and Is ra e l was no exception

to t h i s . ^

An element o f the Isaian passage which has been much d is ­

cussed is ] i 3 'i T i d ~P . ^ The term 1 1 3 S occurs almost 200

times in the OT, and in most cases is used to in d ic a te oneo f the

c a rd in a l points o f the compass. The expression ? 'iS'S

appears f i v e times in the OT: Ps 4 8 :3 , Ezek 38:6, 15, 3 9 :2 , and in


4
our passage. In the th re e passages o f Ezek where the f i n a l

v ic t o r y o f Yahweh over the nations is de sc ribe d, an invasion

agains t the people o f God is carried out by Gog— the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n

o f whom is not known— whose kingdom is located in the "uttermost

pasts o f Saphon" ( 7 T 3 ^ ). In these passages the prophet

does not mention anything which would i d e n t i f y the kingdom o f Gog

with Mt. Casius; and in 39:2 i t is said t h a t Yahweh would"drive

(Gog) forw ard, and brin g him up ( n 7 V ) from the utterm ost parts of

' ' a ." I f the references were to a mountain, the verb would be

"bring down" ( t "P ). ^

^See a ls o Lam 3 :5 5 , where a synonym o f the term n D - ','1


( n i "> n n n ) is used w ith equivalent meaning.
2
See Gowan (pp. 75-92) where e x t r a - b i b l i c a l and b i b l i c a l
examples are discussed.

^The modern English tr a n s la tio n s render "the f a r north"


(RSV); "the utmost heights o f the sacred mountain" ( N IV ) ; " f a r th e s t
sides o f the north" (NKJV); "recesses o f the north" (NASV).

4E i s s f e l d t ( Baal Zaphan, pp. 1 1 -1 7 ) has advocated the view


th a t the b i b l i c a l ] t s y o f passages such as Ps 4 8 :3 , Isa 14:13,
Ezek 3 2:30 , e t c . , has the meaning given to ?pn of the U g a r i t i c t e x t s ,
and r e f e r s to Mount Casius. Cf. also Gray ( Legacy, p p .287-88) who
sees in these passages echoes o f the Canaanite mythology. De Langhe
( Les te x te s de Ras Shamra, pp. 231-44) r e je c t s E i s s f e l d t 's propo­
s itio n .

^Cf. de Lange, Les Textes, 2 :2 3 3 -4 .

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107

In comparing the Ezekiel passages with Isa 14:13 , we per­

ceive th a t in the l a t t e r the expression p 3 ‘i could have

two possible meanings: (1 ) "In the uttermost p arts o f Saphon" (o r

"In the extreme n o r th " ) , (2 ) "On the utmost heights o f Saphon" (o r

“on the sumnit o f Saphon"). I t is tru e th a t p a r a l l e l expressions

in the passage fa v o r the v e r t i c a l sensed and the a n t i t h e s i s


2
] T 3 'i ’ i i ' 1 — ~i i n ■> r i D i ’' makes i 1 harder to r e j e c t i t .

Although the terminology is the same in Isaiah and E z e k i e l, the

meaning of the expression d i f f e r s between them.

In Ps 4 8 : 1 - 3 ,^ we read:

Great is the Lord and g r e a t l y to be praised


In the c i t y of our God.
His holy mountain, b e a u t ifu l in e le v a t i o n ,
Is the jo y o f a l l the e a r t h .

Mount Zion, in the f a r north (1 t 3 ' i - , n 3 i ' 1)


the c i t y o f the g re a t king.
W ithin her c it a d e ls God
Has shown him se lf a sure defense.

C l i f f o r d (pp. 161 -6 2 , n. 85) views 7 1 3 ' i not as p a r a l l e l


to the Mount o f Assembly, but to n y ^ n n n “ > v ; and c a l l i n g
Job 26:7 to his h e lp , says t h a t "Zaphon‘ s meaning seems to be
p r a c t i c a l l y ’ heaven1. . . . I t is easy to imagine the development
of the meaning o f Zaphon, under I s r a e l i t e impulse, from ’ mountain
(d w e llin g o f God)’ to "heavens (d w e llin g of God)’ ." See also
H. L. Ginsberg, "Reflexes o f Sargon in Isaiah a f t e r 715 B .C .,"
JAOS 8 8 ( 1 9 6 8 ) : 5 1 . J. J. M. Roberts ("Sapon in Job 2 6 :7 ," Sib
56 [1 9 7 5 ]:5 5 4 - 5 7 ) c r i t i c i z e s C l i f f o r d and takes Zaphon as p a r a l l e l
to "Mount o f Assembly." C f. also M ullen, p. 148, n. 64, and
Da hood, Psalms 1 :2 90 , who supports Roberts.
2
For the o r ig in and meaning o f ’ H D V , see de Langhe,
Les T e x ts , 2 :240; Morgenstern, "The Mythological Background,”
pp. 7 9-80; Dahood, Psalms, 1 :2 8 9 -9 0 .

^The date f o r the composition of th is Psalm is much de­


bated among the scholars, and ranges from the time o f Senacherib
to the immediate pre-Maccabean p e rio d . See Morgenstern, "Psalm
4 8," HUCA 16 ( 1 9 4 1 ) : 1 - 5 ; 2 3 f f . , f o r discussion o f the m a tte r.

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108

In one o f the most e xtensive a r t i c l e s on Ps 48^ Morgenstern

discusses Jewish ideas about the cosmic n o rth ; his conclusions can

be summarized in his own words:

From a l l th is evidence i t is c le a r th a t from about the end


o f the s ix th century B.C. on th e re was a p o s itiv e tendency in
Jewish c i r c l e s to i d e n t i f y various sacred mountains o f Jewish
t r a d i t i o n , and p a r t i c u l a r l y the Temple Mount, w ith the mytho­
lo g ic a l Safon in p r e c is e ly the same manner as a thousand years
e a r l i e r the people o f U g a r it in t h e i r l i t e r a t u r e i d e n t i f i e d
t h e i r sacred mountain, Casios, w ith Safon, as the people o f
southeastern Syria and northern P a le s tin e seem also to have
i d e n t i f i e d Hermon with Safon, and in somewhat the same manner
as the Babylonians seem to have envisaged Safon in t h e i r seven-
staged tem ple-towers.
A c tu a lly i t would appear t h a t th is i d e n t i f i c a t i o n o f the
Temple Mount w ith Safon would be e a s ie r and more ready to hand
than the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n o f almost any o th e r sacred mountain
wi th Safon.2

As de Langhe says,^ the poet does not want to say t h a t the

holy Mount Zion can be found or is located in the " f a r t h e s t north"

or th a t i t is very high, but presents Zion as the tru e mount o f God,

in co n tra st w ith Zaphon, the Sem itic Olympus, which the pagans

believed to be the mountain o f the gods. "Mount Zion is to Yahwism

what Mount Zaphon (present-day Mount Cassius) is to Canaanite

r e l i g i o n ; namely, the dw e llin g o f God and the most hallowed spot of


1
the l a r d , " observes Oahood. Isa 2 :2 -5 and Mic 4:1 show th a t the

idea o f Zion as the highest mountain was not unknown to the

prophets. Gaster has a ffirm ed t h a t "the Hebrew expression

(] ^ nD T 1) is . . . employed in e x a c tly the same way [as

1"Mythological Background," pp. 1-95.

^ I b i d . , p. 85. \e s Textes, 2 :242.

^Psalms, 1:2 89 -9 0 . Some have suggested th a t the Psalm


could be r e f e r r i n g to the theme o f Zion being the "navel o f the
e a r t h . " See G aster, Thespis ( 1 9 6 6 ) , p. 183, fo r b ib lio g ra p h y cn
the m a tte r.

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109

in Ps 4 8 :2 ] in Is a ia h 14:13-14."'* Although the terms employed are

the same, and both have some mythic c o lo r in g , i t is not c o r r e c t to


2
use the phrase "in e x a c tly the same way" as Gaster does. Is a ia h

gives i t a d i f f e r e n t dimension, and th is aspect is studied in

d e t a i l in chapter 3.

Although some l i n g u i s t i c p a r a l l e l s can be found between Isa

14 and these o th e r passages, and they may contain some mythological

c o lo rin g , the way and dimension in which 7 m i ^m is used by

Isa ia h is d i f f e r e n t .

Cone!usions

1. The i n v e s tig a tio n in to e x t r a - b i b l i c a l l i t e r a t u r e from

Mesopotamian, H i t t i t e , Greek, and U g a r i t i c areas has revealed

th a t there is no such a thing as a myth o f Helel ben Shahar which

r e f l e c t s the Isa ia n account in i t s t o t a l i t y .

2. On the o th e r hand i t seems c le a r th a t in expressing

his message in the lament against t h a t curious being, the a u th o r

o f the passage made use o f the imagery o f Venus, the morning S ta r

which shows i t s e l f in c e r t a in periods o f the dawn but vanishes

by the time the sun r i s e s . A knowledge o f the behavior of Venus

is well a tte s te d in some c u ltu re s o f the a n cie n t w orld, and i t has

been taken up in to the expression o f t h e i r myths: Greek (P h a eto n );

U g a rit ( A t t a r ) .

3. Some elements present in the Isa ia n lament ("mount o f

assembly," "utmost heights o f the n o r th ," e t c . ) are also found in

'Thespis ( 1 9 5 0 ) , p. 8 6 . C f. also Kraus, Psalmen, 1 :3 43 .

2Thespis (1 9 5 0 ), p. 8 6 .

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110

other an cie n t Near Eastern l i t e r a t u r e s — e s p e c i a l l y in U g a r i t — but

then are found in the b i b l i c a l l i t e r a t u r e in a context fre e from

the p o l y t h e i s t i c nature o f the e x t r a - b i b l i c a l m a t e r i a l . I t seems

tha t the s i m i l a r i t i e s in the use of the terms and pic tu res are due

to the c u l t u r a l c o n tin u ity o r common elements in the ancient Near

Eastern a re a ; but the b i b l i c a l prophet used the imagery and elements

known in his tim es— b i b l i c a l or e x t r a - b i b l i c a l — and applied them in

the context and purposes he thought would b e t t e r express God's

given message.

4. I t seems th a t the event described in Isa 14 would

transcend the h i s t o r i c a l realm and has some im p lic a tio n s r e la t e d to

one o f the heavenly council members.

5. Ezek 28 is the passage th a t most resembles the Is a i a n ic

passage. The comparison o f the two passages is made in d e t a i l in

the next c hapter.

Ezekiel 28

I t was a t the close o f the nin e te en th century th a t scholars

s ta rte d to suggest th a t m a te r ia l of Ezek 28 had been borrowed


1 2
(1 ) from Gen 3, (2 ) from a Babylonian source, or v3) from a

Phoenician myth.^

B e r t h o le t , Das Buch H e s e k ie l, pp. 147; Kraetzschmar,


p. 217; see above, p. 4 0 . , n. 3, fo r a d d itio n a l exponents o f t h i s
view.

C. H. Toy, "The Babylonian Element in E z e k ie l," JBL 1


( 1 8 8 1 ):6 2 -6 4 ; Idem, E zekiel (SBOT) 1 2 , p. 154; Gunkel, G enesis,
pp. 3 4-35; Cooke, E z e k i e l „ p. 315. The a d a p ta tio n o f the legend o f
an a n c ie n t myth explains the s i m i l a r i t y and d iffe re n c e s in the
account o f Ezekiel and Genesis which come from the same source.
Cf. Procksch, Geschichtsbetrachtunq, pp. 1 61 -5 4 ; bevan, pp. 500-05;
Skinner, E z e k i e l , p. 257.

^Matthews, p. 105; Yaron, pp. 5 1-53 ; Fohrer ( Ezechiel , p.

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Ill

Gunkel^ holds th a t i t s t r a d i t i o n s are not o r i g i n a l l y

I s r a e l i t e , but since i t r e la t e s to t r a d i t i o n s common to the whole

Near E as t, d i r e c t borrowing should not be assumed.


2
Concerning the f i r s t o ra c le (vss. 1 - 1 0 ) , scholars have

focused t h e i r observations— r e la te d to possible borrowing d e r iv a tio n

or r e l a t i o n s h i p to mythical m a t e r i a l — e s p e c i a l l y on vss. 2 and 3 .^

Vs. 2 t a l k s about the prin c e o f Tyre who said he was ■? k and sat

in the h e a r t o f the seas. Vs. 3 presents the prince as being w iser

than

^3« *? ft

I t has been long recognized that the Semitic word > ft is

found in almost a l l the S em itic languages as the generic term f o r


4
"god." I t occurs commonly as a theophorous element in proper names.

Many scholars had suggested the existence o f El as the proper name

of a s p e c i f i c d e i t y , 3 but i t was the d is c o v e rie s o f the U g a r itic

mythological t e x ts th a t confirmed th a t view beyond any doubt.® In

162) suggested th a t the myth o f the Garden o f Elohim was o r i g i n a l l y


from Mesopotamia, and l a t e r was i d e n t i f i e d w ith Eden in I s r a e l i t e
t r a d i t i o n ; he adds th a t E zek ie l could p o s s ib ly have enriched the
Canaanite-Phoenician myth w ith Babylonian m o tifs or v ic e -v e rs a .
See also P u l l e y , pp. 1 3 -1 5 , f o r some r e f u t a t i o n s o f the idea th a t
the E zek ie l passage o r ig in a t e d from any s p e c i f i c pagan myth.
Cf. also McKenzie, “Mythological Allusions . . . , 11 pp. 322-23.

^G enesis, p. 32.
2
See pp. 220-31 f o r discussion o f the two d i s t i n c t o racles
contained in Ezek 2 8 :1 -1 9 .

^See Pope, pp. 1 2 -1 3 ; McKenzie, "Mythological A llu s io n s ,"


p. 325; Yaron, p. 54; C l i f f o r d , pp. 168-73.
4 5
See Pope, El_, pp. 1 -8 . Ib id ., pp. 3 -8 .

®See E i s s f e l d t , El im Uqaritischen Pantheon, pp. 7 -1 0 ; c f .


also Pope, El_, pp. 5-8.

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112

the Canaanite te x ts El is also the personal name f o r the head o f

the U g a r i t i c pantheonJ

In the OT we find x used— besides the use in proper names--

about 226 tim es. I t could r e f e r to the God of Is r a e l as well as

a heathen god.^ Pope, fo llo w in g Cassuto, says chat “ in prose

when > x r e fe r s to the God o f Is r a e l i t is u s u a lly g ra m a tic a lly

determined by the a r t i c l e , the possessive s u f f i x , a g e n itiv e o r an

a t t r i b u t i v e , or another d iv in e name, ' 1 but "in poetry . . . x

i s used w ithout the a r t i c l e or other adjunct in the function o f a

proper name. 4 Although the a r t i c l e is omitted in poe try ,^ and i t

i s d i f f i c u l t to apply Cassuto's grammatical ru le t h e r e , i t seems

t h a t we can more or less determine most o f the references which are

a p p lie d to the God of I s r a e l , and the few which could a llu d e to a

heathen god.**
7 8
Concerning Ezek 2 8:2a , Cassuto be lie v e s th a t El (in

^ E is s f e l d t , El im U g aritischen Pantheon, pp. 29-53; ” E1 and


Yahweh," pp. 25-30; Pope, El_, p. 6 ; c f . also F. M. Cross, "Yahweh
and the God o f the P a tr ia rc h s ," HTR 55 (1 9 6 2 ):2 3 4 .
2
Marie-Joseph Lagrange, Etudes sur les r e lig io n s semitiques
(P a ris : V. L e c o ffre , 1 905), p. 71, n. 2; see also Pope, ET_, pp. 8 -9 .

^See E i s s f e l d t , "El and Yahweh," pp. 2 6-30 , fo r use o f El


as proper name in the OT; a lso Pope, El_, P- 12, who a f f ir m s , "In
view o f the f a c t that i t is now assured t h a t ij_ was a n c i e n t l y , a t
U g a r i t and elsewhere, the proper name o f a s p e c ific and very
im portant d e i t y , as well as an a p p e l l a t i v e , i t seems a lt o g e th e r
l i k e l y th a t in the O.T. in cases where i t is a synonym o f the God
o f Is r a e l ' i l is to be taken as a proper name."

4 E1_, p. 9. 5 C f. GKC, p. 15; 126h, p. 405.

^Pope, El_, p. 9.

^Ezek 2 8:2, 9 are the only two te x ts in th a t book where God


is independently defined as > x.

^ ’’ 11 nome divino El n e l l ' antico I s r a e l e , " SMSR 8 (1 9 3 2 ):

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113

’ :x > ) is an a p p e l l a t i v e , but admits th a t he is in c lin e d to take

i t as a reference to the Phoenician god E l. In the immediately

fo llo w in g phrase -> nn 2P 3 ', n'? x 3 T n , Cassuto takes 3 n k

as a generical designation o f d i v i n i t y ; but obviously he has problems

with vs. 9 where we f in d ^ J K 3"1 being used in the sense o f

o f vs. 2.

Pope c a l l s our a t t e n t i o n to t h i s "discrepant use o f and

but advocates th a t the expression 3 "7 3 "maxes i t

apparent th a t the a llu s io n is to the abode o f El as depicted in the


2
U g a ritic te x ts ." Zim m erli, in commenting on Pope's double meaning

of the t e x t , emphasizes th a t the t e x t re q u ire s th a t ^ >? must be

understood as an a p p e l l a t i v e f o r two reasons: (1 ) the author repeats

the expression in vs. 9 using □'>rr'7K; ( 2 ) the a n t i t h e s i s

in the l i t e r a r y content supposes these words being used as

135; see also The Goddess Anath, tra n s . Is ra e l Abrahams (Jerusalem:


Magnes Press, Hebrew U n i v e r s i t y , 1 97 1 ), pp. 45, 86, where Cassuto
a ffirm s th a t the passage r e fe r s to the Phoenician E l.

1E l , p. 12. He adds th a t "the use o f ^ tt is perhaps


i n t e n t i o n a l l y ambiguous," but presents the reference to the "Seat o f
3 1 in the h e a rt o f the seas" as a suggestion f o r taking El as
the Phoenician god; and his argument is th a t the gods dwell on the
Mount o f Assembly and not in the h e art o f the seas, thus the t e x t
r e fe rs to a s p e c i f i c god whose abode is in watery e n viro n s . (C f.
also Gray, Legacy, p. 1 1 4 .) We s tro n g ly disagree w ith Pope on
several grounds: (1 ) the prince o f Tyre says t h a t he s i t s "on the
throne o f a god in the h e art o f the seas" not meaning t h a t the god,
whom the p re te n tio u s f i g u r e t r i e s to em ulate, dwells in the "heart
o f the seas," but t h a t the emulator s i t s in the h e art o f the seas.
Tyre was in the h e art o f the seas, and the t e x t could r e f e r to
t h a t , as Pope h im s e lf admits. (C f. a lso Van D i j k , p. 96; Zim m erli,
Ezechiel 2 :7 7 -7 8 ; (2 ) Pope i d e n t i f i e s the power o f vss. 1-10 as
the same as the one o f vss. 12-19, w ith which we cannot agree; see
reasons on pages 250-52 below.

^Ezechiel 2 :78.

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114

a p p e lla tiv e s . Zimmerli^ also c a l l s our a t t e n t i o n to Isa 45:22

K ^: s '3 ) and 46:9 (> ^ d ) in connecti on wi th 4 1 :4 ,

4 2 :6 , 4 3:11 , where Yahweh and El are used interchangeably as God


2 3
the C re ato r. E is s fe ld t takes Ezek 28 and Isa 14:13 as r e f e r r i n g

to the god El — independent and d i f f e r e n t from Yahweh— on the basis

th a t the two passages are concerned w ith the behavior o f non-

I s r a e l i t e s and r e f e r to something which occurred outside the sphere

of Yahweh. In 2 Chr 3 5 :2 1 , however, we findNecho who was a pagan,

using c ■> n 2 x . Thus i f we have ^ k a n d n '> n '? x used interchangeably

in Is a ia h , in the mouths o f pagan kings l i k e Necho and the king o f

Babylon, why cannot in Ezek 28:2 be taken in the a p p e l l a t i v e

sense since we fin d the interchange in vs. 9? Thus there are reasons

to agree w ith Van D i j k who says th a t "the re is no reason to presume


4
in Ezek 28:2 an a ll u s i o n to Canaanite mythology."

I S i t on the Throne o f a God in the


Heart of the Seas (□ ~» 3 2 2 2 )

In 1932 Cassuto^ a lre a d y suggested th a t the phrase could

convey re ference to the Phoenician E l. He was followed by Pope

who asserted th a t "the gods do not dwell in the heart o f the seas,

^Ezechiel 2 :7 8 ; c f . also Oldenburg, The C o n f l i c t , p. 15.

^See also Isa 31:3; Hos 11:9.

3"E1 and Yahweh," p. 28. Cf. also Yaron, pp. 48, 54, who
i n t e r p r e t s vs. 2 as a reference to the Phoenician god El.

4E z e k i e l, p. 97. Cf. a lso McKenzie, "Mythological A llu s io n s ,"


p. 325.

^"11 nome d i v i n o , " p. 135; c f . also The Goddess A nath,


pp. 57, 145.

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115

but on the Mount o f Assembly. The a llu s io n (Ezek 28:2b) thus cannot

be to the general abode o f the gods, but to the s p e c ific abode o f a

god who does dwell in watery environs. And who could th is be but

the U g a r i t i c El ?:l^ But Pope h im se lf admits i t could also apply to

the " i n s u la r p o s itio n of new Tyre" and would n a t u r a l l y r e f e r to "the

king o f Tyre in g lo r y re sid in g in the i s l a n d - f o r t r e s s as a god on


2
his th ro n e ."
3 4
The argument o f Pope and C l i f f o r d th a t the a llu s io n to

the term "? x and shows th a t t h i s expression derives from

Phoenician mythology is weakened by the points discussed about

« above and below. C l i f f o r d thinks th a t although the

p rim ary meaning o f the phrase seems to be the isla n d o f Tyre, i t

o r i g i n a l l y designated the abode o f E l .^ The U g a r i t i c texts pre­

sented to support t h i s claim say th a t E l 's messengers to

'im 1i 1 i mabbikT nahargigi


q irb a 'a p iq i tihamatgmi^

Toward El a t the sources^ o f the two R iv e rs ,


In the midst o f the pools o f the^ Double-Deep.

1E1, p. 98.

^Van D i j k , p. 97. As Van D i j k points o u t, n 'tn o


may be t r a n s la te d as "the seat o f a god," o r “a d iv in e s e a t." C f.
a ls o Z im m erli, Ezechiel 2 :7 7 -7 8 .

^E1, pp. 98-99. 4The Cosmic Mountain, pp. 168-71.

^ Ib id . C l i f f o r d presents the " r e v o l t in the heavens, the


s tre s s o p wisdom which is c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f E l , the anomalous use o f
' i l " as arguments to support his view. See a lso Mullen, p. 15,
who presents s i m i l a r arguments.

6CTA 3 . 5 . 1 3 - 1 6 ; 4 . 4 . 2 0 - 2 4 ; 6 . 1 . 3 2 - 3 6 ; 2 . 3 ( 7 ) . 4 - 5 ; 1 7 .6 .4 6 - 4 9 .

^On the meaning o f q i r b a , see James A. Montgomery, "Notes on


the Mythological Epic Texts from Ras-Shamra," JAOS 53 (1 9 3 3 ): 1 11; and
W. F. A l b r i g h t , "The Ancient Near East and the R e lig ion of I s r a e l , "
JBL 59 (1 9 4 0 ):1 0 6 , who renders the whole clause "to El who causes
the r i v e r s to flow in the midst o f the fo u n tain s o f the two d e e p s .11
Q
Mullen (p. 13) renders i t "to the midst o f tne streams."

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116

C l i f f o r d summarizes his observations concerning the expression by

saying th a t ^ appears to be the Hebrew e q u iv a le n t o f

U g a r i t i c qrb ‘ qrb thmtm.'*^ Although th a t might be c o r r e c t, it

seems improbable, as is noted by Zimmerli who thinks th a t "h e a rt


2
o f the seas" in Ezekiel r e fe r s to E l 's d w e llin g .

*7 K3.~T

Already in the n ineteenth century scholars s ta rte d question­

ing whether the D a n (i)e l o f the Book o f Ezekiel could not be another
3 4
person than the prophet by th a t name. I t seems th a t R. Dussaud

was the f i r s t to suggest— a f t e r the Ras-Shamra d is c o v e rie s — t h a t

the Daniel (> X 3 " r ) o f the U g a r i t i c Aqhat epic^ should be i d e n t i f i e d

w ith the righteous and wise Daniel o f Ezek 1 4:14, 20; 2 8:3. Many

scholars have since follow ed th a t pro p o s a l.^ The main arguments in

P. 170. C l i f f o r d points out c o r r e c t l y th a t "both Hebrew


and U g a r i t i c use organs o f the middle o f the body f o r 'in the midst
o f ' , e . g . , beten, le b , k a b id , qirbu" (p . 170, n. 91).
2
Ezechiel 2 :7 8. See Ezek 2 7 : 4 , 25, 26, where the expression
r e fe r s to the isla n d s it u a t i o n o f Tyre.

^See C. A. H e in r ic h , Commentar iiber den Propheten Ezechiel


(Erlangen: C. Heyder, 1 8 4 3 ), p. 207; L. Z'uns, "Bibel k r it is c h e s
( E z e c h i e l ) , " ZDMG 27 ( 1 8 7 3 ):6 7 6 - 8 1 , who suggests th a t the th re e
personages were n o n - I s r a e l i t e s .
4
"Breves remarques sur les t a b l e t t e s de Ras Shamra," S yria
12 (1931 ): 7 7 .

5CTA, 17-19.

^As f o r example, W. F. A l b r i g h t , "The Seal of E lia k im and the


L a te s t P r e e x i l i c H is to r y o f Judah, w ith Some Observations on E z e k i e l, "
JBL 5 (1 9 3 2 ):9 9 -1 0 0 ; M. Noth, "Noah, D a n ie l, and Hiob in Ezechiel XIV,"
VT 1 (1 9 5 1 ):2 5 3 ; Jean Steinmann, Le Prophet Ezechiel e t le s debuts de
P ' e x i l (P a r is : Les e d itio n s Du C e r f , 1 9 5 3 ), pp. 8 1 -8 2 , 145; Pope, E l,
p. 99; Zim m erli, E zekiel , 1 :3 1 4 -1 5 , 2 :7 9 - 8 0 ; van D i j k , pp. 99-10 0 ;
E ic h ro d t, E z e k i e l , pp. 188-89.

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favor of Darnel o f E z e k ie l's book being the person in the U g a r i t i c

Aqht te x t a re:

1. The s p e llin g o f the word in the Aqht te x t ( dn ‘ 1 ) ^

and in Ezek ( > x j t ) are the same, w hile in the book o f Daniel i t
2
is d i f f e r e n t ); thus he may not be the b i b l i c a l prophet.

However, as A lb r ig h t says,^ the name D a n ilu /D a n 'e l was

well a tte s te d in a n t i q u i t y , and in d i f f e r e n t s p e llin g s . The name

o f King Nebuchadnezzar is a lso s p e lle d v a r io u s ly in the book of


4
Daniel and in the book o f Jeremiah. Thus a d iffe r e n c e in s p e llin g

is not a very strong proof th a t the Daniel o f Ezekiel was a person

d i f f e r e n t from the prophet D a n ie l.^

2. The f a c t t h a t Daniel is mentioned with Noah and Job,

who were not considered I s r a e l i t e s , c o n te x tu a lly suggests th a t he

also was a n o n - I s r a e l i t e . ^ The a llu s io n to Daniel in Ezek 28:3 in

] CTA 1 7 . 1 . 7 , 10, 13, 15, e tc .

S e e H. L. E l l i s o n , E z e k ie l: The Man and His Message


(Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1 9 5 6 ), p. 59; J. B. T a y lo r , E z e k i e l ,
TOTC (London: I n t e r - V a r s i t y Press, 1 96 9 ), pp. 129, 196.

^"The Chaldean I n s c r ip tio n s in Proto-A rabic S c r i p t , " BASOR


128 (1 9 5 2 ):4 1 , n. 7; and BASOR 130 ( 1 9 5 3 ) : 2 6 , n. 1. J. C. L.
Gibson ("Myth, Legend and F o lk lo re in the U g a r it ic Keret and Aqhat
T e x ts ," VTSup 28 L I 9 7 5 ]: 6 7 , n. 18) admits the f a c t t h a t "Ezekiel
simply uses the t r a d i t i o n a l s p e l l i n g o f the name w ith o u t the
in te r n a l Mater L e c t io n is ."
4

S f . P. Joiion, "Trois noms de personages b ib liq u e s a la


lumiere des te x te s d 'U g a r i t (Ras-Shamra) n ~ in , ~i D '2 ~ v
Bib 19 (1 9 3 8 ):2 8 3 -8 5 .

S e e A l b r i g h t , "The Seal o f E lia k im ," p. 99; Z im m erli,


E z e k i e l , 1 :1 4 - 1 5 , who says "the mention o f t h r t e p r e - I s r a e l i t e , or
even n o n - I s r a e l i t e , heroes makes c le a r th a t Ezekiel was here speaki
in a universal way o f the d iv in e righteousness." Cf. E ic h ro d t,
E z e k i e l , pp. 188-90.

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118

connection w ith the King o f Tyre also suggests th a t he was w ell


1 2
known in S yro-P ho enicia. Dressier r e je c t s such an i d e n t i f i c a ­

tio n and says th a t "one needs no p a r t i c u l a r l y f e r t i l e imagination

to view an I s r a e l i t e Daniel flanked by a p r e - I s r a e l i t e and a non-

I s r a e l i t e to a r r iv e a t an e q u ally s a t i s f y i n g th e o lo g ic a l con­

s tru c tio n ."

In re p ly in g to D r e s s ie r , 8. M a r g a l i t 2 noted th a t " i f the

prophet were in te r e s te d in a paradigm o f I s r a e l i t e righteousness

the choices would s u r e ly have Abraham and Moses a t very le a s t

( c f . Jer 1 5 : 1 ) . The choice o f Noah and Job demonstrates s u re ly

th a t what the prophet is a f t e r — a t l e a s t in chap. 14— are para­

digms o f n o n - I s r a e l i t e righteousness ( c f . Gen 6 :9 ; Job 1:8 ;

4 2 :7 ff.)." I t seems t h a t the arguments presented on both sides

above are on ly t e n t a t i v e and n e u tr a l, although as M a r g a lit has

noted, the a l t e r n a t i v e represented by the s ix th - c e n tu r y contemporary

o f the prophet is d e cid e d ly less a t t r a c t i v e .

3. The middle p o s itio n of the name points to a "we 11-


4
known fig u r e o f a ncie nt tim e ," fo r i f Noah and Job— two men from

^Cf. John Day, "The Daniel o f U g a r i t and Ezekiel and the


Hero o f the Book o f D a n i e l , " VT 30 (1 9 8 0 ):1 7 5 ; see A l b r i g h t , “The
T r a d itio n a l Home," pp. 2 6 -2 7 , f o r p o s i t i v e i d e n t i f i c a t i o n o f the
Syrian D a n i e l ’ s home.

2H. H. P. D r e s s ie r , "The I d e n t i f i c a t i o n o f the U g a r i t i c


DNIL with the Daniel o f E z e k ie l," VT 29 (1 9 7 9 ):1 5 7 . J. Day (p . 175)
r e p lie s to D re s s ie r a f f i r m i n g th a t he"igncres the f a c t th a t Noah is
not only a p r e - I s r a e l i t e , but also a n o n - I s r a e l i t e , so th a t t h i s is
most n a t u r a l l y the case also with Daniel and anyway, the only
I s r a e l i t e Daniel who might be regarded as a possible cand id a te ,
the hero o f the book o f D a n ie l, is a lr e a d y ruled out on chrono­
lo g ic a l grounds.”

^ " In t e r p r e t in g the Story o f A qht," VT 30 (1 9 80 ):3 6 2.

^Zim m erli, E z e k i e l, 1:315. J. Day, p. 175.

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119

a n t i q u i t y — fla n k D a n ie l, i t im plies th a t he was an a n cie n t person

and not E z e k i e l's co n te m p o ra ry . K e il* thinks we have a climax

order in th is passage: “Noah saved his fa m ily along w ith nim-

s e l f ; Daniel was able to save his fr ie n d s (Dan 2 :17, 1 8 ); but Job,


2
w ith his righteousness, was not even able to save his c h i ld r e n . "

I t could thus be suggested th a t the passage presents

diminuendo in amplitude concerning the deliv e ran c e theme: Noah

was the agent f o r the s a lv a tio n o f a l l o f those who accepted his

c a ll to e n te r the a r k ; Daniel was the agent f o r the s a lv a tio n fo r

the wise men o f Babylon (Dan 2 ) ; Job d e liv e r s him self o n ly . A ll

the points presented, however, are not strong enough to prove

e i t h e r o f the two views about the Daniel o f E z e k ie l.

4. Another argument a sserts th a t the personage o f the book

o f Daniel was too young by the time Ezekiel wrote his book, and thus

i t was impossible f o r him to have hadthe broad re p u ta tio n which

E zekiel assigns to him by th a t time."* I t would be more p la u s ib le

to b e lie v e t h a t the t e x t r e fe rs to a more ancient D a n ie l. This


4
argument should n o t, as pointed out by D re s s ie r, be ru led out.

* E z e k i e l , 1:186.

^F. W. J. Schroder, “The Book o f the Prophet E z e k i e l, "


CHSL (New York: Charles S c rib n e r's Sons, 1915), 13:15 1 , does not
accept K e i l ' s pro p o s itio n but does not make him self c l e a r on the
suggestion— which D re ss ie r (p. 156) c a l l s "order o f e le v a tio n " —
he g iv es .

^As f o r example, Zim m erli, E zekiel 1:314; J. Day, p. 175,


who points out th a t "the framework . . . suggests a f i g u r e o f
p a t r ia r c h a l times . . . or hoary a n t i q u i t y , " fo r Job as well as
f o r D a n ie l. Cf. a lso Jack, pp. 22-23 ; E. W. Heaton, The 3ook of
Daniel TBC (London: SCM Press, 1 95 6 ), p. 25.

4Pp. 157-58, he emphasizes t h a t i f any o f the fo llo w in g


p o s s i b i l i t i e s concerning the passage occurred:

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120

5. Some scholars a f f i r m th a t since Ezek 28 has to do w ith

o ra cle s against Tyre, i t would be n a tu ra l th a t the hero mentioned

in vs. 3 comes o r i g i n a l l y from the Syrian re gio n, or was "close to

Phoenician t r a d i t i o n . " ^

But we have to remember th a t the hero o f the Book o f Daniel

became the c h ie f o f the wise men in Babylon about 600 B.C. When
2
E z e k i e l, who liv e d among the e x i l e s not f a r from Babylon, was per­

forming his prophetic m in is t r y (591 B.C. f o r Ezek 8:1 s e c t i o n ) , ^

Daniel was a lre a d y famous and could have deserved th is contemporary

re fe re n c e from E z e k ie l.

6. Discussions on the c h a r a c t e r is t i c s o f E z e k i e l's hero

have also been examined.4 These in c lu d e : (1 ) righteousness,

(2 ) d e liv e r a n c e ,^ and (3 ) wisdom.^

a. " I f the date f o r the composition of Ezekiel is the t h i r d


century B .C ."
b. " I f a l a t e r redactor in s e rte d the references to D a niel"
c. " I f the passage is an ( p o s t - e x i l i c ) a llu s io n to the Daniel
o f the E x i l e , who was a l t e r to appear as the hero o f the Book of
D a n iel" ( c f . H. G. May, " E z e k ie l" LDB (1 9 6 2 ), 6:218
d. " I f E z e k i e l's authorship and the u n ity o f the book is
m aintained" ( c f . Howie, p. 100, who b e lie v e s the book waspublished
approxim ately by 570-567 B . C . ) ,
i t would be possible to accept the b i b l i c a l Daniel as being the one
r e fe r r e d to by E z e k ie l.

^Zimmerli, Ezekiel 1:315; E ic n r o d t, Ezekiel , pp. 18S, 391;


J . Day, p. 175; Ch. V i r o ll e a u d , La Legend Phenicienne de P a n e l,
( P a r is : Paul Geuthner, 1 9 3 6 ), p. 121.
2
Zim m erli, E z e k i e l , 1 :1 3 , 16.

^See Richard A. Parker and Waldo H. Dubberstein, Babylonian


Chronology 626 B .C .-A .D . 7 5 , BUS 19 (Providence: Boston U n i v e r s i t y
P ress, 1956), p. 26.

4See V i r o ll e a u d , La Legende Phenicienne de P an e l, pp. 111-15,


121-23. de Langhe, Les te x te s de Ras-Shamra 2 :151-56.

5Ezek 1 4 :1 4 -2 0 . 6Ezek 2 8:3.

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121

1. Righteousness. I t has been recognized th a t the word

Sdq never appears, in r e l a t i o n to D a n ie l, in the Aqht poetn;^ and

de spite some scholars' a f f ir m a t io n th a t D a n ie l's function as a


2 3
judge would make him ''rig h te o u s , ' 1 as de Langhe s ta te d , “les actes

de j u s t i c e . . . ne s u f f i s e n t pas a f a i r e de Daniel un type de

'ju s te ' . " 4

2. D e liv e ra n c e . Since the issue in Ezek 14:12-20 is the

one o f 'D e l i v e r a n c e ', and because i t is s p e c ifie d th a t n e i t h e r

those men's sons nor daughters would be d e liv e re d by t h e i r rig h te o u s ­

ness, the e x i l i c Daniel would not f i t the character since he was


5
not known to have any c h ild r e n , w h ile the Phoenician Daniel would

fit the p ic tu r e b e t t e r , f o r as in the case o f Noah and Job, the

U g a r i t i c Daniel “passed through the midst o f d is a s te r to d e liv e ran c e

^ V ir o lle a u d , La Legende Phenicienne de Panel, p. 121;


de Langhe, Les Textes de Ras-Shamra, p. 151.

~CTA 17 :v. 4 -3 ; arid CTA 1 9 .1 .1 9 -2 5 .

\ e v e r s , p. 115; S t a lk e r , p. 133; J. Day (p. 175) makes a


strong case in fa v o r o f th is i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , saying th a t
" I t is c le a r th a t D a n ie l's righteousness was not o n ly e t h i c a l
but embraced what we should c a l l p i e t y . That th is is tr u e o f
the U g a r i t i c Daniel is in d ic a te d by the constant re fe re n c e to
him as mt. r p ' i "man o f Rp'u ( E l ) , ' which one may j u s t l y compare
with the expression in Hebrew '75 ’e l 6 h?m, 'man o f G od'."

4"Les Textes de Ras-Shamra," p. 153; c f . also Joiion, "Trois


noms de personages," p. 285; D r e s s ie r , p. 154. J. Gray ( The Legacy,
p. 107) s ta te s th a t
"Dn'el was no more noted f o r his j u s t i c e than any o th e r a ncie nt
king in the Near E as t, and indeed in the Krt te x t th e re is an
almost id e n t i c a l d e f i n i t i o n o f the j u d i c i a l powers o f the king.
E z e k ie l's impression o f Dn'el as p re-em inently righteous (E zekiel
x i v , 14, 20) and wise (ib id e m , x x v i i , 3) is probably due to the
etymology o f the name r a th e r than to anything in the U g a r i t i c
te x t."

^Noah saved his c h ild re n (Gen 5 :1 8 , e t c . ) ; Job received


new ones (Job 1 :1 8 - 1 9 , 4 2 : 1 3 -1 5 ). See S p ie g e l, pp. 319, 328-29;
J. Day, p. 179. For references and commentary on ideas on Daniel
being a eunuch, and o th e r legends, see S p ie g e l, p. 309, n. 7.

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122

and his c h ild was, in the same way, involved in the d e liv e ra n c e ." ^

But, as D re ss ie r p o s i t i v e l y points o u t, "the t e x t does not r e f e r

unambiguously to Aqht's r e s u r r e c tio n ," and he was not able to


2
d e l i v e r his own son. On the o th e r hand the e x i l i c Daniel was an

instrument o f d e liv e ra n c e — although not of his son or daughter— of

the wise men o f Babylon . 3


4
3. Wisdom. Eichrodt asserts t h a t "when Daniel is named

in i t (Ezek 2 8 :3 ) as a prov erbia l m a n ife s ta tio n of wisdom, then

some fig u r e o f the past known throughout the whole Syrian region

must be r e fe r r e d to . This excludes the Daniel o f the OT book

bearing th a t name."

Commenting on Ezek 1 4 :1 4 , 20, E ichrodt holds t h a t the Daniel

o f Ezekiel should be i d e n t i f i e d w ith the U g a r i t i c f i g u r e . ® But

in r e a l i t y the word hkm ('w is dom ') does not occur a t a l l in con­

nection w ith the Aqht text® or w ith Danel. The hero is never por­

trayed as a sage who predicts fu tu r e e v e n ts , nor u t t e r s sayings,

etc . D re ss ie r a sserts th a t he "cannot be considered a 'wise man'

^ e e J. Day (pp. 179-80) who advocates— fo llo w in g Gordon


( UL, p. 85; Before the Bible [New York: Harper & Row, 1 96 2 ],
p. 169); G. R. D r i v e r , ( Canaanite Myths and Legends, OTST 3
[Edinburgh: T. & T. C la rk , 1 9 5 8 ], p. 8 ); T. H[ Gaster ( Thespis
[ 1 9 6 6 ] , p. 3 2 0 ); J. C. L. Gibson ( Canaanite Myths and Legends
[Edinburgh: T. & T. C la r k , 1 9 7 8 ], p. 2 7 )— th a t "the l o s t ending
o f the Aqht t e x t went on to t e l l o f Aqhat's r e s u r r e c tio n ."

2 P. 155. 3udniel 2.

4 E z e k ie 1 , p. 391. 5Ib id ., p. 189.

®Cf. Y i r o ll e a u d , La Legend Phenicienne de D a n e l, p. 121;


de Langhe, Les Textes de Ras-Shamra, 2 :153.

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123

1 2
or ‘ sage’ in the te c hnica l sense o f the word"; J. Day responds

on the subject by s t a t in g t h a t , although the e xtent Aqht epic does

not e x p l i c i t l y r e f e r to Daniel as a wise man, i t does r e f e r to him

as such i m p l i c i t l y . To make his p o in t Day shows how 1 Kgs 3

i l l u s t r a t e s the connection between " j u s t judgment and wisdom," and

points out t h a t the U g a r i t i c Daniel was noted f o r j u s t judgment.

Besides t h a t , Day advances the p o in t th a t the phrase "no secret is

hidden from you" (Ezek 28:3) suggests t h a t D a n ie l's wisdom is

s im i l a r to the one r e fe r r e d to by H. P. M u lle r^ as "mantic or magical-

mantic wisdom."

Despite his e f f o r t s to make t h i s p o i n t , Day recognizes

th a t "a number o f M u l l e r 's attempts to discern magical-m antic wisdom


4
in the U g a r i t i c Daniel are not p a r t i c u l a r l y convincing." Besides

t h i s he bases his th e s is on oth e r U g a r i t i c or Canaanite te x ts

which may have spoken more e x p l i c i t l y o f D a n ie l's wisdom. A ft e r

a l l , we have to say th a t the Legend o f Aqht is not singled out fo r

any s p e c if ic connotation o f wisdom. On the oth e r hand, the issue in


5
the book o f Daniel is wisdom. The main issue in Ezek 14 is

^ D re s s ie r, pp. 153-54; c f . a lso Jouon, "Trois noms de


Personages," p. 285; M a r g a li t , p. 362.

2 Po. 180-81.

3 |,Magisch-Mantische W eisheit und d ie G e s ta lt D a n ie ls ,"


UF 1 (1 9 6 9 ):7 9 -9 4 .

^Day, p. 181.

5Dan 2 :2 1 , 23, 30, e t c . ; c f . also H. G. May, "The King in


the Garden o f Eden," p. 167.

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124

1 2
Id o la try ; in U g a rit the hero is a good pagan p o ly th e is t.

Several scholars have advanced the idea th a t i t is probable

th a t an ancient wise hero c a lle d Daniel served as a prototype f o r

the hero o f the Book o f D a n ie l,^ but i t seems here th a t so f a r th is

p ro p o s itio n has not been proved.

In conclusion, we may say th a t the arguments in fa v o r o f the

U g a r i t i c Daniel are more o f a ne utra l na ture . In ge n era l, arguments

in fa v o r o f the b i b l i c a l Daniel are stronger and f i t b e t t e r in i n t e r ­

p r e tin g th is passage.

The second o ra c le (vss. 11-19) has produced more discussion

concerning the sources o f the m a te ria l as w ell as the p o s s i b i l i t y

o f i t s mythical nature.

Mesopotamia

The suggestion— which arose a t the end o f the nineteenth

c e n tu ry 4— th a t the m a te ria l found in Ezek 28:11-19 has Babylonian

o r i g i n has not been s a t i s f a c t o r i l y s u b s ta n tia te d . Toy,^ S kinner,^

^See e s p e c ia lly vss. 1 - 1 2 .

^See D re s s ie r, pp. 158-61; c f . Zim m erli, Ezekiel 2:670;


Gordon, UL, pp. 85-103; J. Day, pp. 1 77-79, advocates th a t the
Phoenician Daniel was a worshiper o f E l , whom he i d e n t i f i e s w ith
Yahweh, and sees the presence o f the Baal and oth e r d e i t i e s in the
Aqht te x ts as not an insuperable obstacle in defending his p o in t.

^See Jack, p. 23; F e u i l l e t , p. 185, n. 1; Heaton, pp. 24-27;


May, "The King in the Garden," pp. 168-69; J. B a rr, “D a n ie l," PCB
(Hong Kong: Thomas Nelson and Sons, 197 7 ), § 518 F. p. 591;
A. Lacocque, The Book o f D a n i e l , tra n s . David P e lla n e r ( A t l a n t a :
John Knox Press, 1 979), p. 3; J. Day, pp. 181-84.

4See above pp. 4 0-41 . ^E zekiel (SBOT 1 2 ) , p. 154.

^E z e k i e l , p. 257, who says th a t "The mountain of the gods


is now known to have been a prominent idea o f the Babylonian
r e l i g i o n , " and th a t E zekiel got th a t knowledge "during his sojourn
in Babylon."

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125
- 1 2 3
Holscher, G. A. Cooke, and Fcnrer proposed a Babylonian o r ig in

but did not e la b o ra te or give any reason f o r t h e i r view.

In his p u b lic a tio n s George Widengren has presented some

d e s c r ip tiv e a llu s io n s to images and heroes from the Mesopotamian

mythic m a te ria l which resemble some elements o f Ezek 28. Among

them we have, f o r example, a "hero, whose body is shining splendor,

who in the f o r e s t o f f r a g r a n t cedar is cheered with jo y , standing

in the Sanctuary o f Apsu, the adorned, p u r i f i e d with the s p a rk lin g

lu s tra tio n s . ” 4 A garden or grove which is associated w ith a temple

or sanctuary and cared f o r by a gardener is also shown to be customary


5 6
in Mesopotamian c u l t u r e . But as McKenzie a s s e rts , "These are

1q. 142.

E z e k i e l , p. 315; Cooke a ffir m s th a t "c e rta in fe a tu r e s o f the


s to ry as given here, the mountain o f God, the stones o f f i r e , the
gemmed robe, can ha rd ly be o f Hebrew o r i g i n ; they come r a t h e r from
Babylonia." Cf. Fohrer, E z e c h ie l, p. 162.

^E z e c h ie l, p. 162; see above p. 43, and also "Mythological


A llu s io n s ," p. 323, f o r c r i t i c i s m o f Fohrer.

4The King and the Tree o f L i f e in Ancient Near Eastern


R e l ig io n , UllA 1951/4 (Uppsala: Lundequistka Bokhandeln, 1 9 5 1 ),
p. 8 . Widengren thinks th a a t the LXX f o r Ezek 28:13 is more
r e l i a b l e , and since the stones mentioned were in the b r e a s tp la te of
the High P r ie s t (Exod 3 9 : 1 0 - 1 3 ) , the Urim and Thummim were included;
and these, he th in k s , "pla y the same r o le as the ta b le t s o f d e s tin y
in being the instrum ent by which the w i l l o f the d e it y is communi­
cated to the le a d e r o f the people. . . . " ( The Ascension o f the
Apostle and the Heavenly Book, KUA 1950/7 (Uppsala: Lundequistska
Bokhandeln, 1 9 5 0 ), pp. 27, 94-96. C f. McKenzie, "Mythological
A llu s io n s ," p. 323, f o r c r i t i c i s m o f Widegren's view. McKenzie
a ffir m s [TS 15 (1 9 5 4 ):5 5 2 , n. 51] t h a t "Widegren [Mesopotamian
Elements in Manicheism UUA 1946/3 (Uppsala: Lundequistska
Bokhandeln, 1 94 6 ), pp. 16-30] has pointed out some elements o f
Mesopotamian mythology in Manicheism which are q u ite l i k e the
sto ry o f E z e k i e l, " which I could not a t a l l d e t e c t . ) .

^Widengren, The King and the T r e e , pp. 9 -11.

^"Mythological A llu s io n s ," p. 323.

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126

d e s c r ip tiv e a ll u s i o n s ," and the d iffe re n c e s are enormous. There is

no f a u l t or expulsion in Wider.gren's p a t t e r n , the hero is a god.

Gowan points out^ the p o s s i b i l i t y t h a t those gardens were

"a ss im ila te d to a mythological paradise such as Dilmun the abode of

the gods," but he observes th a t those references could be r e f e r r i n g

to a re a l gardener in each case. Besides the f a i r l y prominent pa rt


2
sacred gardens o r groves play in the Gilgamesh Epic, a garden o f

the gods is described in i t as being adorned w ith precious stones.^

In a d d i t i o n , "the Cedar mountain, abode o f the gods, throne seat o f


4
Ir n in i," is also mentioned.

The element, "the mountain of god," which appears twice in


5
Ezek 28, seems to be "c en tral to the experience o f the Mesopo­

tamians."^ The cosmic mountain or Weltberq concept^ has been


Q
r e je c te d by modern s cholars.

Pp. 79-80. C f. also G. A. Barton, The Royal In s c r ip tio n s


o f Sumer and Akkad (New Haven: Yale U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1929),
p. 313; ANET, p. 110.
2
C f. Gowan, p. 80.

^A. L. Oppenheim, "Mesopotamian Mythology I I , " Or 17 (1 9 48 ):


47. The t e x t is in very fragmented c o n d itio n , but the remnant words
t e l l us about a garden adorned with precious stones, which reminds
us o f Ezek 2 8:13 . Oppenheim suggests t h a t i t "seems to have been
the scene o f an episode d e a lin g probably w ith another attempt o f G i l ­
gamesh to obtain a means o f escaping d e a th ," p. 48. Cf. also ANET,
p. 89.

4 ANET, p. 82. 5 Yss. 14, 16. C liffo rd , pp. 9-10.

^This concept, which flo u ris h e d a t the end o f the nineteenth


c e n tu ry , conceived the world as a great mountain w ith heaven a t the
peak and the underworld a t the base. C f. P e te r C. A. Jensen, Die
Kosmoloqie der Babylonier (Strasbourg: K. J . Trubner, 1 89 0 ), pp.
195-201; Bruno Meissner, Babylonien und Assyrien (H e id e lb erg : Carl
W in te r, 1 9 2 5 ), pp. 107-11; T h o rk ild Jacobsen, "Sumerian Mythology:
A Review A r t i c l e , " JNES 5 (1 9 4 6 ):1 4 3 -4 8 ; C l i f f o r d , pp. 9-33.
O
See C l i f f o r d , pp. 1 0 -3 3 , 190, e t c . f c r discussion and
b ib lio g ra p h y . Cf. also B. A l f r i n k , Der Versammlungsberg im
Aussersten Norden ( I s a 1 4 ) , " Bib 14 (1 9 3 3 ):4 1 -4 4 .

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127

The fig u re s c a lle d Kajribu1 are found in Mesopotamian mate-

ria l, where they are represented “as guardians o f the tr e e o f l i f e , "

“supporters o f the d iv in e throne," and as " fig u re s fla n k in g royal


3
th ro n e s ." Since the b i b l i c a l m a te ria l contains some s i m i l a r con­

cep ts, along w ith some d i f f e r e n t ones in r e l a t i o n to the Mesopotamian

view o f the f i g u r e , we should not press the case f o r a borrowing by

the b i b l i c a l w r i t e r from the Assyro-Babylonian t r a d i t i o n .


4 5
The legendary King Adapa has been equated with “man" and

the f i g u r e is presented in the myth as a "model o f man."** Gowan

suggests t h a t Adapa "seems to have been a king who was conceived of

as a re a l Adam; a prototype so tiia t h is f a t e is the fa te o f a l l men."^

^For the onomastic o f the term 'C h e ru b ', see J. T r in q u e t,


“Kerub, Kerubim," DBS (1 9 5 7 ), 5 :1 6 1 -6 4 ; P. Dhorme and A. V in c e n t,
"Les Cherubins," RB 35 (1 9 2 6 ):3 2 8 -3 9 , 481 -9 5 ; R. H. P f e i f f e r ,
“Cherubin," JBL 41 (1 9 2 ):2 4 9 -5 0 .

2 T. H. G a s te r, "Angel," IDB ( 1 9 6 2 ) , 1 :1 3 1 -3 2 , thinks "the


Cherub may be i d e n t i f i e d w ith the winged genius who i s , indeed c a lle d
Karibu ( o r K u rib u ), 'i n t e r c e s s o r 1. 1' Some scholars (see Yaron, p. 32)
suggest th a t is "an inversion o f l e t t e r s from the word
'to r i d e ' ."

2See G aster, "Angel," p. 131; c f . T r in q u e t, pp. 165-69;


A l b r i g h t , "What Mere the Cherubim," M 1 ( 1 9 3 8 ) : 2 - 3 ; P. Dnorme,
and P. V in c e n t, "Les Cherubins," pp. 482-90.

^For sources and a t r a n s la t i o n o f the n a r r a t iv e reconstructed


from the e xtan t fragments o f the Adapa myth, see ANET^, pp. 101-3.
C
E. E beling, Tod und Leben nach den Vorstellunqen der
Babylonier ( B e r l i n : W alter de G r u y te r , 193 1 ), 1 :2 7, n7 a.

®Cf. ANET, p. 301, te x t A, 5 - 6 . See a lso n. la on p. 101,


where i t says th a t "model" is to be taken in the same sense of
"something to be fo llo w e d ."

^P. 85. A f t e r the d is co v e rie s o f the te x ts containing


the Adapa myth, some scholars claimed t h a t c le a r p a r a l l e l s between
the Babylonian m a te ria l and the s to ry of Adam could be seen (see
discussion by A. T. C la y, The O rigin o f B i b l i c a l T r a d i t i o n s , YOS.R, 12
[New Haven, CT: Yale U n iv e r s ity P ress, 1923J , pp. 1 0 8 -1 6 ). However,
oth e r scholars raised t h e i r voices saying th a t no p a r a l l e l e x is te d

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128

Gowan also discusses Gilgamesh’ s c h a r a c te r is tic s which would

make him something of a prototype f o r humanity in the Babylonian

sense, but he recognizes g re a t d iffe r e n c e s between E z e k i e l ’ s g reat

king and the Babylonian f i g u r e . ^ His observations have some v a l i d i t y

i f we can e s ta b lis h with c e r t a i n t y t h a t Ezekiel is r e a l l y t a lk in g

about the f i r s t man and not someone e ls e .


2
Despite the g re at d iffe r e n c e s between the Babylonian

account o f Adapa and Gilgamesh and the Ezekiel f i g u r e 's account,

we have to agree with Gowan and others th a t "most elements from

between these two personages. Heidel ( The Babylonian Genesis,


p. 1 2 4 ), f o r example, a ffir m s t h a t "the Adapa legend and the b i b l i c a l
s to r y are fundamentally as f a r a p a r t as the antipodes." Cf. also
B. R. F o s te r, "Wisdom and the Gods in Ancient Mesopotamia," Or 43
( 1 9 7 4 ) :3 5 2-53 ; P. X e l l a , “L 11 inganno' di Ea nel mito di Adapa,"
OrAnt 12 (1 9 7 3 ):2 6 5 . W. H. Shea, “Adam in Ancient Mesopotamian
T r a d i t i o n , " AUSS 15 (1 9 7 7 ):2 7 -4 1 , has attempted to show t h a t — in
s p i t e o f d i s s i m i l a r i t i e s — the p a r a l l e l s between those two s to r ie s
are a r e a l i t y , and " i t is possible to view these two separate
sources as independent witnesses to a common event" (p. 4 1 ) , w ith
a p o s s i b i l i t y th a t a " fu n c tio n a l s h i f t " could have occurred in
some d i r e c t i o n . Giving a kind o f response to Shea’ s a r t i c l e ,
N i e l s - E r i k Andreasen ("Adam and Adapa: Two Anthropological
C h a ra c te rs ," AUSS 19 [ 1 9 8 1 ]:1 7 9 - 9 4 ) t r i e s to show th a t although the
p a r a l l e l s between Adam and Adapa indeed e x i s t "they are s e rio u s ly
blunted by the e n t i r e l y d i f f e r e n t contexts in which they occur”
(p . 1 9 2 ). He suggests t h a t "in Adam and Adapa we have the repre­
s e n ta tio n o f two d i f f e r e n t a nthropological c h ara c te rs, . . . two
d i s t i n c t c h a r a c te r iz a tio n s o f human nature" (p. 192). The p a r a l l e l s
suggest " th a t these two c h a r a c te r iz a tio n s have a common o r i g i n ,
whereas the contrasts between them may in d ic a te th a t two branches
o f Near Eastern c i v i l i z a t i o n took c l e a r l y d is tin g u is h a b le sides
in the dialogue over human n a tu re . Yet these lin e s are not so
d i f f e r e n t th a t the r e s u l t i n g two c h a r a c te r iz a tio n s o f man are unable
to dialogue" (p . 194).

1 Gowan, pp. 8 5 -8 6 , 8 8 . The main d iffe re n c e s l i s t e d are:


( 1 ) the Old Testament fi g u r e i s p e r f e c t , which cannot be said of
Adapa and Gilgamesh; (2 ) the Babylonian fig u re s s tr iv e d f o r immor­
t a l i t y , but in the Ezekiel f i g u r e ' s case i t seems th a t since he was
recompensed by death, we can deduce th a t u n t i l he sinned he would be
im m o rta l.
2
See Gowan, p. 90.

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129

which Ezek 28:1-19 was composed appear to have been w ell known

to the peoples o f the Ancient Near East."^

Greece
2 3
T. Gaster has suggested the myth o f Prometheus as a

p a ra lle l to the Ezekiel passage. Trying to make his p o in t, he con­

t r a s t s Prometheus' c h a r a c t e r is t i c s such as "without e v i l , " "teacher

o f a r ts and sciences to mankind," “f i e r y c h a r a c te r ," "savage

insolence and overbearing boldness," with s im i l a r t r a i t s in the

hero o f E z e k ie l's d i r g e . However, the myth is so embroiled in

p o l y t h e i s t i c fe a tures which are absent from E z e k i e l's s to ry , th a t

i t would be u n f a ir to say th a t the two pieces o f l i t e r a t u r e are

p a r a l l e l or th a t the b i b l i c a l sto ry derived from the Greek myth.

Furthermore, the c h a r a c t e r is t i c s presented were so common in the

a f f a i r s o f the gods in a n cie n t mythology as well among humans in

t h e i r a t t i t u d e s o f h y b r is , th a t i t is d i f f i c u l t to say th a t they

have o r i g i n a l l y come from the same source and developed in t h e i r

own p a r t i c u l a r ways.

^ b i d . , pp. 8 8 , 90. See Davies, p. 90, f o r discussion


o f the view th a t i t is "possible to approach the problem o f
mythology in the 0T a p a r t from the fa c ts o f borrowed and tra n s ­
formed mythology. I t i s possible to th in k o f a mythology indigenous
in the 0T in terms o f the p e r s o n a lity and a c t i v i t y o f Yahweh, the
God o f I s r a e l . "

Myth, Legend, and Custom, pp. 622-23.

3 C f. Hesiod ( 8 th Cent. B . C . ) , Theoqony, 507-616 ( t r a n s .


H. G. Evelyn White, LCL, pp. 1 1 6 -2 5 ). C f. G aster, Myth, Legend,
and Custom, p. 714, f o r references to o th e r a n cie n t sources which
mention the myth.

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130

Uqari t
1 2 3
Scholars l i k e J. Gray, K. Vine, F. C. Fensham, and Peter
4
van Z i j l have expressed some words o f caution concerning the in d is ­

crim in a te and hasty use o f the U g a r i t i c t e x t s . A f t e r examining the

com plexities o f the U g a r i t i c t e x t s , A. Ferch r i g h t l y points out th a t

i t is a methodological ne ce s sity to examine s in g le p a r a l l e l


terms and m otifs in the t o t a l context in which they occur.
To study p a r a l l e l s in i s o la t i o n is to open o neself to the
danger o f misreading elements o f one c u ltu r e in terms o f
another and o f suppression o f adverse evidence in the
in t e r e s t s o f a t h e o r y . 5

With these admonitions in mind and van Z i j l ' s advice "to

return to the te x ts again and again,"® l e t us examine the U g a r i t i c

m a te ria l to see the r e l a t i o n those te x ts have, i f any, to the te x t

of Ezek 2 8 :1 0 -1 9 .

The Legacy o f Canaan, p. 9; Gray a ffir m s th a t "The tendency


s t i l l u n fo r tu n a te ly p e rs is ts to use the Ras Shamra te x ts as a kind
o f l i t e r a r y lucky-bag out o f which a l l sorts o f odds and ends may
be drawn."

^"The Establishment o f Baal a t U g a r it" (Ph.D. D i s s e r t a t i o n ,


U n iv e r s ity o f Michigan, 196 5 ), p. 251, where Vine even questions the
existence o f the Baal c y c le .

^"Winged Gods and Goddesses," p. 158. Fensham warns us th a t


"we must bear in mind t h a t r e li g i o u s conceptions were not id e n tic a l
a l l over the Canaanite w o rld ," and t h a t "a c e r t a in concept must be
in te r p r e t e d in terms o f the time in which i t appears."

4 Baal_, AOAT, 10 (Butzon & Bercker Kevelaer; Neukirchen-


Vluyn; Neukirchener V e rla g , 1 9 7 2 ), pp. 1 -2 . Van Z i j l t a l k s about
scholars' "Mistaken assumption th a t r e li g i o u s conceptions were the
same throughout the Canaanite w o rld ," the " ris k s o f asso c iatin g
concepts from d i f f e r e n t c u l t u r e s , " and advises the student o f the
te x ts "to re tu rn to the te x ts again and again and to examine them
thoroughly f o r h im s e lf."

®The Son o f Man in Daniel Seven (B e rrie n Springs, MI:


Andrews U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1979), p. 61.

6 B a a l, p. 1.

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131
1 2
I t has been said th a t the n P ' t mentioned among the

precious stones in the Ezekiel passage is "rem iniscent o f the abn

brq 9 of B a a l's abode , 4 which is tr a n s la te d by Obermann^ as "stone

o f splendor"; by Gordon** as " li g h t n i n g ; and by Ginsberg 7 by "a

th u n d e rb o lt.“

Verse 14 t a lk s about "stones o f f i r e " (o x ” 1 n « ) , which

since the beginning o f t h is century has been proposed to be emended


q g
to > ^ j n , but as Zimmerli says, the double appearance in

vss. 14 and 16 c o n tra d ic ts t h a t class o f v a r ia t io n s in t e x t .

E i c h r o d t ^ suggests ( a f t e r r e l a t i n g the Ezekiel passage to Isa 14:13

and Ps 4 8 :2 ) th a t " i t is le g it im a t e to i n t e r p r e t the f i r e - s t o n e s

(w ith o r w ithout emending the 'stones' in to ’ sons') as the s t a r s ,

^Pope, El_, p. 99.

Vs. 13. The term n p ~ i u is used three times in the OT


(Exod 2 8:17; 39:10; Ezek 28:13) and is tr a n s la te d by " b e ry l" (N IV ),
"emerald" (RSV), "carbuncle" (ASV, KJV), e t c .

9See R. C. Fensham, "Thunder-Stones in U g a r i t i c , " JNES 18


( 1 9 5 9 ) :273, f o r e a r l y t e n t a t i v e s in t r a n s l a t i n g t h is expression.

4CTA 1 : 3 . 3 . 2 3 ; see also Pope, El_, p. 99, n. 77, f o r use of


the expression in an Akkadian prayer and discussion concerning
whether the two words should be taken s e p a r a te ly or as in c onstruct
re la tio n .

^"Sentence Negation in U g a r i t , " JBL 65 (1 9 4 6 ):2 3 9 .

6 UL, p. 19. 7ANET3, p. 136.

^Kraetzschmar, E z e c h i e l , p. 217; c f . also R. Dussaud, "Les


Pheniciens au Negeb e t en A r a b ie ," RHR 108 (19331:40; Dussaud sees
in the term "the sons o f El" "une expression phenicienne courante
qu'on re trouv e dans les t a b l e t t e s de Ras-Shamra." Cf. a ls o N ie ls e n ,
Ras Schamra, p. 113, n. 2; C l i f f o r d , p. 173.

9 E z e c h ie l, 2:6 85 . 1 0 E z e k i e l , p. 393.

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132
1 2
i.e ., the s ta r-g o d s ." Cassuto suggests th a t th is expression seems

to have a s im ila r connotation to the U g a r i t i c b rq , and th a t “they

are stones o f heaven in which is stored the f i r e th a t becomes

v i s i b l e to us in the form o f lig h tn in g s (Ezek 1:13) • J K . T ' j dt

P “t3 K l f l "’ - - 'a n d out o f the f i r e went f o r t h l i g h t n i n g ' . " ^


4
Pope contends f o r the a u t h e n t i c i t y o f the term 1 i

He suggests th a t "sm elting is involved in the production of

• y « “ 'l 2 3 « a n d r e c a l l s the d e s c r ip tio n o f the marvelous constructio n

of B a a l's mythical abode on Mount Saapan" and adds th a t his explan­

a tio n is not incompatible w ith Cassuto's "p la u s ib le explanation"^

because "the f a c t t h a t U g a r i t i c myth deals w ith 8 a a l ' s house, w hile

the a lle g o r y o f Ezek 28 conccerns the general abode o f the gods is

no re a l impediment to the c o r r e l a t i o n o f the two."^ Fensham7 thinks

th a t any emendation is unnecessary, and th a t Cassuto's “ stones of


Q
l i g h tn in g " must be taken as th u n d e r-s to n e s . Pope's " e s p e c ia lly

^See also Widengren, " E a r ly Hebrew Myths," p. 167.


2
Genesis, pp. 79-80; The Goddess Anath, p. 128; Cassuto
comments: "The theme o f the 'stones o f f i r e ' in the ancient
Is ra e lite poetry was one o f the elements in which is s t i l l to be
discerned the l i n k w ith g e n t i l e r e li g i o u s concepts; consequently
the Torah wished to n u l l i f y i t , and, in accordance w ith i t s usual
p r a c t ic e , passed i t over in s il e n c e . "

^See Obermann, " S e n te n c e ," p . 239, n. 15, f o r the c h a ra c te r


o f abn brq in the U g a r i t i c b u ild in g saga.

4 E1_, pp. 99-10 2 . ^Genesis, 1:100, 101.

^ I b i d . , p. 102; see E ic h ro d t, E z e k i e l , p. 393, who reacts


a g a in s t t h i s view.

7 "Thunder-Stones," pp. 273-74.

^The book o f Enoch ( 1 8 . 6 - 9 ; 23-25) ta lk s about seven


mountains o f m a g n ifice n t stones located a t the end o f the firmament
o f heaven, and one o f them was supporting the throne o f God; i t

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133

s tr ik in g " ^ associations o f vss. 12-19 with U g a r i t i c mythological


2
motives are y e t to be shown.

The Gilgamesh Epic describes the grove o f the gods with

trees o f precious stones^ but does not supply us w ith m a te ria l th a t

would resemble the d e s c r ip tio n in E z e k ie l. We have to admit th a t

the expression is very obscure, and despite the e f f o r t s

to r e l a t e the expression to the U g a r it ic abn b rq , they have not

been s u c c e s s fu l.

The existence o f the concept o f a sacred mountain— the


4
co u n te rp art o f the b i b l i c a l mountain o f God — in the U g a r i t i c
r- g
m a te ria l is very r e a l . 3 The t r a d i t i o n s surrounding Zaphon o f Baal

seem to have adhered to various sacred mountains a l l along the

Levant.^ But because i t was a common m o tif in the d i f f e r e n t ancient

also describes a "burning f i r e t h a t continues by day and night and


which feeds [w ith E ichrodt ( E zekiel , p. 394); Charles (APOT I ,
p. 204) has "persecutes," but says th a t the word is c o rru p t] a l l
the lum inarie s o f heaven." E ic h ro d t, E z e k i e l , p. 394, suggests th a t
"here we may be meeting the same t r a d i t i o n as th a t which Ezekiel
fo llo w e d ."

1 E]_, p. 99.

^Cf. also McKenzie, "Mythological A llu s io n s ," pp. 324-25.

^ANET3, p. 89; c f . also APT?, pp. 169-70; H e id e l, The


Gilgamesh E p ic , p. 6 8 .
4
Pope, El_, pp. 9 7 -9 8 , be lie v e s th a t the mountain o f God is
i d e n t i c a l w ith the palace o f B a a l, located on the mountain o f gods,
Mount Sapon; but since t h i s concept is common in the 0T, Ezekiel
"c o u ld ," as says McKenzie ("M ythological A llu s io n s ," p. 3 2 4 ), "a llu d e
to the mountain o f Elohim as he does here i f he had never heard o f
the palace o f Baal."

^Cf. C l i f f o r d , The Cosmic Mountain.

6 Cf. E i s s f e l d t , Baal Zaphon, pp. 5 -30.

^ C l i f f o r d , pp. 180-81; c f . also M ullen, pp. 158-65.

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134

Near Eastern c o u n tr ie s , we could hardly say th a t Ezekiel borrowed

the expression s p e c i f i c a l l y from the Phoenician m a t e r i a l . W. H.

Schmidt^ says t h a t Ezek 28:1-19 is a mixture o f d i f f e r e n t mythical

m a t e r ia ls . We would say th a t the prophet could have made use of

knowledge about the m a tte r which was c i r c u l a t i n g in his days in

the whole Near E ast, and i t was included in the message God wanted

him to give.

B i b l i c a l O rigin and P a r a l l e l Hypotheses

Several b i b l i c a l passages have been pointed out as sources

or p a r a l l e l s f o r the images and m otifs found in Ezek 2 8 :1 -1 9 :

( 1 ) Gen 2 -3 ; (2 ) Gen 6 : 1 - 4 ; (3 ) Ps 82.

The Genesis Paradise Story


and E zekiel 28

I t was m ainly a t the end o f the nineteenth century th a t

scholars s ta rte d saying c a t e g o r i c a l l y th a t the m a te ria l o f our


2
passage was borrowed from Gen 2 -3 , or from a f u l l e r Babylonian

n a r r a t iv e out of which the one in Genesis also was drawn . 3


4
Among the presented s i m i l a r i t i e s or common fe a tu re s

between Gen 2-3 and Ezek 28, we have: (1 ) Eden; (2) the Garden of

God; (3 ) "primeval p e r fe c tio n and b l i s s " ; (4 ) a f a l l and expulsion

^Konigtum G o tte s , p. 35.

3 A. B e r t h o le t , Das Buch H e s e k ie l, pp. 147-48.

3 C. H. Toy, Ezekiel (SBOT 1 2 ) , p. 154.

4See McKenzie, "The L i t e r a r y C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , " p. 552;


Cassuto, Genesis, 1 :7 5 -7 6 ; Habel, pp. 522-23.

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135

of a being from a good place; (5 ) the mention o f a guardian

cherub. ^

Because o f the s im i l a r term inology i t might be held th a t


2
we are d e a lin g here with an "im a g in a tiv e h a n d lin g ," or an "older

and more m ythological recension"^ o f the Paradise s to ry . But as

McKenzie observed, we fin d "some even more remarkable divergences'

between these two passages:

In E zekiel the garden is f u l l of precious stones; there are no


t r e e s ; the being is c lo th e d ; he is endowed w ith marvelous
a t t r i b u t e s ; he does not keep and t i l l the garden, which is
located on the mountain o f God; there i s noserpent; and, most
im portant o f a l l , there i s no woman. 4

Another s t r i k i n g d i f f e r e n c e is t h a t the r e je c t i o n of the

being in E zek ie l is f i n a l , and "hence no symbol o f r e c o n c i l ia t i o n

grace is to be expected. Rather, he was to be 'exposed' before

kings (v s . 1 7 ) . " ’’

Cassuto*’ has discussed a t length what are considered the

main d i f f e r e n c e s between these two passages.

Cassuto, Genesis, 1 :7 5 , adds


" p a r t i c u l a r phrases l i k e , on the day when you were created
(Ezek. x x v i i i 1 3 ), from the day you were created ( i b i d . 1 5 ),
which resemble the expression in our sec tio n (Gen. i i 4 ): when
they were c re a te d , which is p a r a l l e l t o , In the day th a t the Lord
God made (and f u r t h e r on, v 2: in the day when they were
c r e a t e d ) ; or l i k e , in the midst o f the stones o f f i r e (o f the
garden o f Eden) you walked (Ezek. x x v i i i 1 4 ) , which r e c a lls
the words in Genesis ( i i i 8 ) , walking in the garden; or l i k e ,
and I turned you to ASHES ["'.?« 'e p h e r] upon the e arth (Ezek.
x x v i i i 1 8 ) , which reminds us o f the v e rs e , f o r you are DUST
[ - , 3 ^ ‘ aphar] and to dust you s h a ll re tu rn (Gen. i i i 1 9 ) ."
Cf. als o C. Westermann, Genesis,1 :3 35 ; and Habel, p. 22, who
presents a comparative l i s t o f fe a tu re s o f the two passages, which
seems to have been made w ith some presuppositions in mind.
? 3
Kraetzschmar, p. 217. Gunkel, Genesis, p. 34.

^ " L i t e r a r y C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , " p. 552.

5 H abel, pp. 520, 522. 6 Genesis, 1:7 5.

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136

The t r u t h is th a t when we c a r e f u l l y examine the points

presented above as s i m i l a r i t i e s between the two passages, we per­

ceive th a t they do not prove t h a t the two authors are t a l k i n g

about the same event, in the same spot in time. The fo llo w in g

are the s i m i l a r i t i e s to consider:

1. Eden, the Garden o f God. Cassuto^ has c a lle d our

a t t e n t i o n to the f a c t th a t in Ezek 28 the garden is c a lle d "garden

of God" 1 3 ), while in Gen 2 the record says th a t the

Lord planted the garden fo r the sake o f man; in Genesis the garden

is located in the E ast, but in our passage i t is in the "Mountain

of God." Basing his remarks on passages such as Ps 3 6 :8 -1 0 ; 92:

1 2-14; Ezek 3 1 : 2 - 3 , 8 ; Isa 1 4 : 8 - 1 4 , e t c . , Yaron^ says th a t "the

garden o f Eden and the House o f God are in te rch a n g e a b le ," and th a t

“th e re is no c le a r d i v id i n g - 1 i n e between the mountain o f God and the

House o f the Lord. Indeed, we can conclude from Isa 14:13 th a t

th e re is no d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n between Heaven, Eden, the side o f the

North, and the tem ple."^ C ontinu ing, he says th a t the i d e n t i t y o f

Eden and the temple (th e house o f God) "explains the presence o f

the b r e a s t - p la t e and the 's h i e l d i n g cherub' whose n a tu ra l place

is the temple, E z e k i e l's garden o f God." Yaron a c c u r a te ly observes

t h a t "here we have the key to the understanding o f the second h a l f


4
o f Ezek 28:18: 'thou hast d e f i l e d thy sanctuary'" th is j u s t i f i e s

^ I b i d . , p. 76.
p
"The Dirge over the King of T y re ," p. 40.

^ I b i d . , pp. 43-44.
4
I b i d . , p . 45; Yaron reads = sanctuary w ith some
v e rs io n s ; see BHK, "apparatus."

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137

the passage j u s t quoted in the context which has to do w ith the

"Garden o f God." Thus the expression "Eden, the garden o f God,"

does not n e c e s s a rily have to be i d e n t i f i e d w ith the Garden of Eden

of Gen 2 -3 .

2. "Primeval p e r fe c t io n and b l i s s . " This expression in

i t s e l f , a p a rt from the c o n te x t , could be a p p lie d to the home of

Adam and Eve in the newly created e a r t h , as w ell as to oth e r places

where God or the gods d w e ll. P e r fe c tio n , wisdom, and p e r fe c t

beauty could be a pplied to our f i r s t parents as w ell as to any o the r

created being in realms o th e r than t h i s e a rth .

3. A fa ll and expulsion o f a being from the good p la c e .

The p ic tu r e which comes to mind in ta lk in g about being "blameless

in your ways from the day you were created . . . till i n i q u i t y was

found in you . . . and you sinned,"^ and " I drove you in disgrace
2
from" is th a t o f the f a l l o f our f i r s t parents a t the beginning

and t h e i r expulsion from the Garden o f Eden.

On the o th e r hand th e re are a l t e r n a t i v e views. One of

those has helG, since the days o f the Church F a th e r s , 2 th a t Satan

fe ll in sin before Adam and Eve d id . He was c a s t from heaven to

e a r t h , and he was the one who caused them to f a l l and be expelled

from the garden. This m a tte r is discussed below in chapter 3.

At t h i s point i t needs o n ly to be mentioned t h a t the f a l l and

expulsion of the being in the Ezekiel passage may or may not be a

p o in t adequate to demonstrate th a t the prophet obtained his m a te ria l

from Gen 2-3 or a more a n c ie n t recension o f the s to r y .

^ z e k 2 8:15 -1 6 . 2 NIV.

2Based on passages such as Gen 3; job 1 -2 ; Isa 2 4 :2 1 -2 2 ;


John 8 :4 4 ; 2 Cor 11:3; Rev 1 2 : 7 - 9 , 20:2.

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138

4. The Cherub. Based on two d i f f e r e n t t e x t s , the “Cherub"

can be i d e n t i f i e d in two d i f f e r e n t ways: (1 ) I f we accept the MT as

the most r e l i a b l e and o r ig in a l te x tj the Cherub d w e lle r o f the

Garden o f God is the subject of the d irg e (2 ) I f we f o l l o w the

LXX the Cherub would be portrayed as the guardian or companion of


3 4
the garden's d w e lle r , fu lfillin g the same r o le as in Genesis.

Concerning the occurrence o f the term in vs. 14, l i n g u i s ­

t i c a l l y speaking, i t could be taken e i t h e r way since d iffe r e n c e s

among these views are based on v o c a liz a t io n (which the o r i g i n a l text

did not have); on the use o f commas and how we d iv id e the phrases

( t h e r e were none in the o r ig in a l t e x t ) ; and on the use o f an

e x tr a ', which— as the Dead Sea s c r o l l s have demonstrated— would

be a dangerous basis upon which to say f o r sure whether the extra

' belongs to the o r i g i n a l te x t or n o t. Concerning the a t t e s t a t i o n

of the word in vs. 16, i t could also be i n te r p r e t e d in e i t h e r way,

since the word f o r “cast out" or “expel" could be v o c a liz e d as i t

is in the MT: 7 or The former i n t e r p r e t a t i o n would

^See discussion o f the t e x t in the exegesis o f the passage


in chapter 3.

Among those who hold th is view are Cassuto ( G enesis,


1 : 8 ) ; N. H. T u r - S i n a i, Halashon V e h a s e fe r, 2 v o ls . (Jerusalem:
Magnes Press, 1 949), pp. 113-14; Widengren ( The Ascension o f the
A p o s tle , pp. 9 4 - 9 7 ); Van D ijk (pp. 9 2 - 1 2 2 ); Feinberg (pp. 160-65);
e tc .

^The a l t e r a t i o n would be very sm all: instead o f the


(vs. 14) o f the MT, we would read h k (LXX); HT’ s i 1 n n i i fo r'
■ p n n s o f the LXX. Cf. d e ta ile d discussion in Yaron, pp. 30-31.

^Among those who hold th is view , we have: Kraetzschmar,


p. 217; Cooke, E z e k i e l , pp. 313-17; Fohrer, E z e c h ie l, p. 16; Pope,
El_, p. 98; McKenzie, "Mythological A ll u s io n s , " p. 324; Kroeze, p.
23; Zim m erli, E z e k i e l , 2:672; E ic h r o d t, E z e k i e l , p. 393; Yaron,
"The Dirge over the King o f Ty re," pp. 3 0 -3 1 ; Habel, p. 518.

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139

mean th a t God was the one a cting a g a in s t the being, w hile the l a t t e r

case would have the Cherub a cting as the executor o f the sentence

upon the k in g . 1

Thus the m otifs which seemed to i d e n t i f y the Ezekiel

m a te ria l w ith the Paradise s to ry o f Gen 2-3 have not proved to pro-
2
vide very strong reasons fo r doing so. Besides t h i s we have

several remarkable divergences between these passages which cannot

be e a s i l y dismissed'. Although these passages describe d i f f e r e n t

events, I admit the language o f Genesis could have influenced

the p ro p h e t's d e s c r ip tio n .

Gen S :1-4
4
In h is a r t i c l e on Ps 82, Morgenstern has— based on his

examination o f b i b l i c a l and e x t r a - b i b l i c a l t e x t s — a rr iv e d a t the

conclusion t h a t Gen 6 : 1 - 4 ,^ Ps 8 2 , Isa 1 4 :1 2 -1 5 , and Ezek 28:11-19

have an i d e n t i c a l mythical background, from the myth o f the " f a l l e n

an g els ."^ Morgenstern lin k s Ps 82 and Isa 14:12-15 e s p e c ia lly

through the term > 3 3 ( □ ' ' > 3 3 n - Gen 6 : 4 ) which indeed appears

in the c it e d passages, but is not present in Ezek 28.^ Oespite the

^See Kroeze, p. 23.

^Against McKenzie, "Mythological A llu s io n s ," p. 327.

3 E z s k i e l , p. 163; c f . also Cassuto, Genesis, 1 :7 6 -8 1 ,


e s p e c i a l l y p. 81.

^"Mythological Background," pp. 76-95.


5
See above, p. 96, n. 2 f o r discussion o f the i n t e r p r e ­
ta tio n o f t h i s passage.

^"Mythological Background," pp. 111-14.

^See i b i d . , pp. 107-14; and M u lle n , pp. 2 38-44, who shares


the same view.

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140

p o s s i b i l i t y th a t the same myth could be behind a l l these passages,^

i t cannot be said t h a t the Ezekiel passage has i t s sources, or has

a d ire c t p a r a lle l, in Gen 6 :1 -4 . Because those who a ffir m the

e xistence o f p a r a l l e li s m o r connection between Gen 6 :1 -4 and Ezek

28:11-19 do not e la b o r a te on the m a tte r s a t i s f a c t o r i l y , i t does

not warrant f u r t h e r discussion here.

Psalm 82

Several scholars have— in one way o r another— re la te d


p
Ezek 28 to Ps 82. There is no doubt th a t phrases such as " I am

god, I s i t in the seat o f the gods," "y et you are but a man, and

not god . . . , “ “you consider y o u r s e lf as wise as a god," "you

s h a ll d ie the death o f the uncircumsised," "and you sinned," " I

turned you to ashes upon the e a r t h " 3 seem to show th a t they have

something in common w ith phrases in Ps 8 2 : 1 , 6 , 7, such as: "God

has taken his place in the d iv in e c o u n c il; in the midst o f the gods

he holds judgment," "you are gods, sons o f the most high, a l l o f you;

n e v e rth e le s s , you s h a ll d ie l i k e men, and f a l l l i k e any p r in c e ."

Although i t is very doubtful t h a t th a t would be the case


w ith Gen 6 : 1 - 4 , which i n t e r p r e t a t i o n is f a r from having a consensus
among the scholars.

3 H. H upfeld, Die Psalmen, 3 v o ls . (Gotha: Verlag von F. A.


P erthes, 1860), 2 :3 0 5 -0 6 . C. A. and E. G. Briggs, The Book o f Psalms,
2 v o ls . ICC (New York: Charles Scribners Sons, 1906-07, 2 :2 1 4 -1 6 ,
b e lie v e th a t both passages t a l k about an assembly of the "wicked
governors o f the nations . . . c a lle d gods because as r u l e r s and
judges they r e f l e c t the d iv in e majesty o f law and order in govern­
ment." See Morgenstern, "Mythological Background," pp. 111-14;
M ulle n , pp. 226 -4 4 , concerning the debated date o f Ps 82; also
Morgenstern, "Mythological Background,” pp. 119-21; Dahood, Psalms,
2:269; Kraus, Psalmen, 2:5 70 ; Ackerman, pp. 441-57.

3Ezek 2 8 : 2 , 6 , 10, 16, 18.

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141

Most modern commentators on Psalms admit th a t i f not the

whole, at le a s t vss. 1, 6 , 7 of Ps 82 r e la te s to the m a tte r o f God's

heavenly c o u n c il, or His angelic h o s t J This c a r r ie s in i t s e l f

the idea of angels who, because o f t h e i r commission of some s in ,

In the most e la b o ra te stuoy on Ps 82, J. S. Ackerman has


shown th a t s t a r t i n g w ith the LXX and S yriac tr a n s la tio n s (pp. 5-16)
attempts have been made to show th a t Ps 82 has to do w ith God giving
judgment to the gods in His c o u n c il. Jerome sees th a t the Psalm is
r e la te d to other passages in the OT where God is pre sid in g over His
council in the heavens (pp. 34-36) and adds th a t those condemned
could be the pagan gods, p o l i t i c a l leaders o f I s r a e l , or I s r a e l i t e
judges (p. 3 5). During Reformation times there were th re e general
c ateg o rie s: the condemned are ( 1 ) r u l e r s and judges in I s r a e l ; (2 )
r u le r s and judges o f the nations, or (3 ) the members o f God's council
(pp. 3 7 -7 8 ). AcKerman discusses these three i n t e r p r e t a t io n s and
t h e i r main defenders from the Reformation t i l l the n in e te e n th century,
when H. Hupfeld ( Die Psalmen, 3 : 4 0 8 - 1 5 ) , made a d e t a ile d study on Ps
82 and in te r p r e te d the "condemned as subordinate angels o f the Lord"
(pp. 5 5 f f . ) . Gunkel ( Die Psalmen, p. 360) in te r p r e t s Ps 82 as pre­
senting God's judgment upon His a n g e lic host. For S. Mowinckel
( Psalmenstudien I I I : K ultprophetie und Prophetische Psalmen [Amster-
dimi P. Schippers, 1 9 6 1 ], pp. 1 -1 0 5 ) Ps 82 comes from p r e - e x i 1ic
times and the condemned gods were both the gods o f the n a tio n s and
Yahweh's heavenly host; the o ', n > K are d iv in e beings who have
opposed Yahweh's w i l l ; and th is Psalm was a weapon used to re in fo r c e
monotheism. Morgenstern ("M ythological Background," pp. 29-126)
s p l i t s the Psalm, saying th a t vss. 2 -4 belonged to m a te ria l connected
w ith Jewish judges, w h ile vss. 1, 6-7 belongs to a d i f f e r e n t Psalm
and re fe rr e d to f a l l e n gods or a ngels ; and, as we have said be fore ,
he believes t h a t a common, cu rren t myth was behind passages such as
Ps 82, Isa 1 4 :1 2 -1 5 , Ezek 2 8 :1 2 -1 9 , e t c . Ackerman h im s e lf (pp. 301-
34) has examined a n c ie n t Near Eastern l i t e r a t u r e and shown th a t the
various gods were a l l o t t e d " in h e r it a n c e s " — p a r t i c u l a r l y c i t y - s t a t e
o r country— concerning which they were responsible to the d iv in e
c o u n c il, and th a t i t was t h e i r duty to communicate and to adm inister
decisions o f the d i v in e council concerning t h e i r c i t y - s t a t e s .
Besides t h a t , one o f the s t i p u l a t io n s o f agreement between the patron
d e i t y and the human r u l e r whom he s elected was th a t the r u l e r was
to care f o r and p r o t e c t the poor, dispossessed, and de fe n se le ss —
e s p e c ia lly the widow and the orphan. Based on th a t and on a sub­
s t a n t i a l exegesis o f Ps 82, Ackerman has r i g h t l y defended the view
th a t Ps 8 2 :2 -4 is r e la t e d to vss. 1 , 5 c -8 , or to the gods o f the
heavenly c o u n c il, and not to I s r a e l i t e judges and r u le r s o n ly . Vss.
6 , 7 from the clim ax o f the l a w s u it , in which the gods a re condemned,
and t h e i r f a t e is probably s im i l a r to "the (= bn Sim?) who
were cast out o f heaven fo llo w in g an attempt to rebel a g a in s t Yahweh—
Elyon's r u l e . " (See Ackerman's d i s s e r t a t i o n summary, item 8 ).
Elyon is probably an ancient e p i t h e t of E l, which became an e p ith e t
of Yahweh in the I s r a e l i t e t r a d i t i o n .

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142

were condemned by GodJ As f a r as the Ezekiel passage is concerned,


2
we also fin d scholars who f i r m l y b e lie v e th a t the mythical back­

ground o f th is t e x t is concerned with the f a l l e n a n g e l( s ) . But

r i g h t now we are more in te r e s te d to know whether we fin d p a r a l l e l

m o tifs in the two passages, and i f the o ld e r one served as a

source f o r the l a t e r . The proposed background o f the passages is

addressed below in chapter 3.

Ps 82:1 ta lk s about God taking His place in the d iv in e

c o u n c il.^ I t is a pronouncement o f judgment w ith in the assembly

its e lf. Mullen stresses the s i m i l a r i t y o f Ezek 2 8 :2 , 9: "You are

a man, and not God"; o f a s i g n i f i c a n t p a r a l l e l to Ps 82:7: "where


4
the gods are sentenced to death ' l i k e a man'." Gunkel points

out t h a t th a t comparison is not a p p lic a b le because Ezekiel never

admits th a t the prince o f Tyre a c t u a l l y is a god,^ "but in Ps 82

the condemned beings are c a lle d D 1 n ^ x w ith o u t a p o l o g y . I t

seems th a t Gunkel is r i g h t in saying t h a t , f o r the being in Ezek

28:1-10 was to be destroyed a t the hands o f " fo r e ig n e r s ," human

beings, w hile in Ps 82, the beings were to d ie l i k e men.^ But on

^See previous note; Mullen, p. 238.


2
See above pp. 4 8 -4 9 ; Morgenstern, "Mythological Background,"
pp. 111 -1 4 , e t c . ; M ullen, p. 238.

■^Concerning the judgment o f the Council in Ps 82 see


Ackerman, pp. 298-320; M u lle n , pp. 226-44.

4 I b i d . , pp. 241-42. Mullen also th in k s t h a t the mythological


background o f the sto ry r e fe r r e d to in Ps 82 and Ezek 28 is placed
in "an h i s t o r i c a l framework in Dan 1 1 :2 1 -4 5 ." We discuss our view
of the r e l a t i o n o f th is passage to Ezek 2 8:2 -1 0 in chapter 3.

^Die Psalmen, p. 361. ^Ackerman, p. 60.

^Mullen (pp. 230, 243) prefers to t r a n s l a t e "lik e


Adam" and not " l i k e men," a suggestion th a t is very a t t r a c t i v e .

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143

the o th e r s id e , Gunkel r i g h t l y points out th a t in vs. 14 the te x t

is t a l k i n g about a d iv in e b e in g J Indeed i t seems th a t Ezek 28:12-

19 describes a session o f the d iv in e council in which a heavenly


2
being is being condemned. As has been noted above, the environment

o f vss. 14-18 seems to be a heavenly one.

Thus while i t is c le a r th a t in Ps 82 the condemned ones

are c a lle d gods by way o f c o n tra s t we have in Ezek 28:

2-10 a case o f h y b ris.^ The idea o f a d iv in e council can be seen

behind the two passages (Ps 32; Ezek 2 8 : 1 2 -1 9 ); someone belonging

to a d iv in e council has committed a major s in 4 and, consequently,

has been condemned to death.^

In conclusion i t may be said th a t although there are d i s ­

s im ila ritie s in the nature and a t t i t u d e o f the beings in Ps 82 and

the Prince o f Tyre o f Ezek 2 8 :1 -1 0 , there are some s i m i l a r i t i e s in

the n a tu r e , a t t i t u d e , and d e s tin y o f the beings in the P salm ist's

and E z e k i e l's m aterial in a d d itio n to s i m i l a r i t i e s in the s e ttin g

o f both accounts. A common t r a d i t i o n may w ell l i e behind them.

Conclusions

1. Our research in to hypotheses concerning the alleged

o rig in s of and p a r a l l e l s to the Ezekiel passage discussed reveals

th a t there i s , to s t a r t w i t h , lack of c e r t a i n t y in the way scholars

^Oie Psalmen, p. 361. ^Pp. 136-39.

^See Gowan, p. 4, where he defines t h i s term as "div ine


encroachment"; see also pp. 69-71.

4In Ps 82 fo r judging u n ju s tly and in Ezek 28 because o f


p r i d e , v io le n c e , and c o rru p tio n o f wisdom.

5Ps 8 2 :6 -7 ; Ezek 2 8:1 8 -1 9 . The time of the death is not


s p e c ifie d in e i t h e r o f the passages.

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144

r e la t e the two oracles (vss. 2-10 and vss. 12-19) concerning the

i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the fig u r e o f the Prince o f Tyre and the King o f

Tyre, and in t h e i r r e la t i o n to each o th e r . Because of t h i s f a c t

we have t o s e p a ra te , to a c e r t a in e x t e n t , these two te x ts in the

search f o r possible o rig in s and p a r a l l e l m a te r ia ls .

2. Concerning the f i r s t o r a c le i t has been found th a t

although the passage deals w ith a case o f hy b ris — which was q u ite

common in a ncie nt Near Eastern c u l t u r e s — a study o f phrases or

m otifs has in d ic a te d th a t expressions such as " I am god" ( M X "? « ) ,

" I s i t on the throne o f God in the h e a rt o f the seas," and “You

are w iser than Daniel" ( I ’ X M ) cannot support the view t h a t the

author is here r e f e r r i n g to U g a r i t i c m a te ria ls or d i r e c t l y borrowing

from o th e r a n cie n t myths. The r e s t o f the content o f the o ra c le

makes use o f words and expressions which are common to b i b l i c a l

l i t e r a t u r e elsewhere. In summary i t may be said th a t although

most of the terms and expressions used are common in the b i b l i c a l

t e x t , i t cannot be said th a t the a u th o r obtained his ideas from

any s p e c i f i c m a t e r i a l .

3. As f a r as the second o ra c le is concerned, our in q u ir y

has shown th a t there are s i m i l a r i t i e s between the Ezekiel m a te ria l

and the Mesopotamian and U g a r i t i c a lle g e d p a r a l l e l s , but they are

of the n a tu re o f " d e s c r ip tiv e a l l u s i o n s . " The d iffe r e n c e s between

them are e x te n s iv e . We cannot deny th a t some elements such as "the

mountain o f God," the "Cherub" ( K a r ib u ) , e t c . , are found in

Mesopotamian m a te r ia ls . But they a lso appear in the b i b l i c a l

l i t e r a t u r e expressed in a Yahwistic c o n te x t. When we compare the

Ezekiel account in i t s t o t a l i t y w ith those o f e x t r a - b i b l i c a l

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145

l i t e r a t u r e , we a r r i v e a t the conclusion th a t nothing can be found

from which we. could w ith c e r t a i n t y say the author derived his

m a te ria l.

4. Concerning the b i b l i c a l m a t e r i a l , research has led us to

conclude t h a t the Ezekiel passage seems not to have been derived

from the Paradise s to ry — w ith the f i r s t man as the main p ro ta g o n is t—

as many scholars b e lie v e . The being, the environment, and the

events experienced in vss. 12-19 are very d i f f e r e n t from those

r e la te d to the f i r s t man as recorded in Genesis. The occurrences

r e fle c te d in t h i s o ra cle seem, in some aspects, to r e l a t e i t to

events which happened beyond the e a r t h ly realm; i t resembles events

th a t occurred cn the d iv in e council le v e l as presented in Ps 82.

I t seems t h a t both Isa 14:12 -1 5 and Ezek 28:12-19 r e f l e c t the story

of the f a l l e n angels, which is f e l t , although not n e c e s s a r ily

expressed, in e x p l i c i t terms in many b i b l i c a l passages.

From the discussion o f th is chapter i t may be concluded

th a t although the existence o f some elements and imagery common

w ith those in the l i t e r a t u r e from I s r a e l ' s neighbors may be present

here, the same elements are found— almost in t h e i r t o t a l i t y — in

the OT. As a consequence i t would be a s afer procedure to perform

the f i n a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f the t e x t in b i b l i c a l c ontext where we

can e x e rt more c o n t r o l .

That being the case, t h i s study turns next to an examination

of the Is a ia h and the Ezekiel passages by themselves in t h e i r own

c o n te xt, in r e l a t i o n to each o t h e r , and in the co n te xt o f the re s t

of the OT. In so doing, an e f f o r t is made to i n t e r p r e t these te x ts

in a way t h a t i d e n t i f i e s t h e i r main fig u re s more c l e a r l y .

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CHAPTER I I I

THE TAUNT AGAINST THE KING OF BABYLON AND THE

PRINCE AND KING OF TYRE

Isaiah 1 4 : 4 b -21

L im its o f the Poem

The l i m i t s o f the peri cope in which our passage is located

a r e , according to the MT, vss. 3-23 The poetic passage is

composed mainly o f 3:2 qinah rhythm, w ith an introduction and con-


2
e lu sio n in prose. The formula "when (th e Lord) has given (you)

r e s t" ^ serves also as a connection. Concerning the content i t seems

t h a t a new theme is introduced in vss. 3, 4a, about which nothing


4
is e s p e c i a l l y spoken o f be fore . The q u a l i t y of the poetry and

The d irg e concerning the king o f Babylon in Isa 14 belongs


to the K *5 Q which comprehend chaps. 1 3 :1 -1 4 :2 3 . Cf. Leon J.
L ie b r e ic h , "The Compilation o f the Book o f I s a ia h ," JQR 47 (1 9 5 6 -5 7 ):
118 -1 9 ; Erlandsson, pp. 109-27; W ild b e rg er, p. 537.

^W. S. P rin s lo o , " Is a ia h 1 4 :1 2 -1 5 — H u m ilia tio n , Hubris,


H u m ilia t io n ," ZAW 93 (1 9 8 1 ):4 3 3 .

3m : rr □ m 2 m m . The more o fte n used formul as are


sinn s m and m n n n m m , but the one in our passage
has the same fu n c tio n ; see W ildberger, pp. 112-13, 536-37.

^Robert Lowth ( Is a ia h : A New T ra n s la tio n and Notes [London:


Thomas Tegg 4 Son, i 8 3 7 ] , pp. 216, 218) s ta te s th a t i t is "an ode of
supreme and s in g u la r excellence . . . ," "For beauty o f d i s p o s i t i o n ,
s tre n g th o f c o lo r in g , greatness of sentim ent, b r e v i t y , p e rs p e c u ity ,
and force o f expression, i t stands among a l l the monuments o f a n t i q u i t y
u n riv a lle d ." 0. E i s s f e l d t ( The Old Testament, An In tr o d u c tio n , tra n s .
P e te r R. Ackroyd [New York: Harper 4 Row, 1965J , p. 197) s ta te s i t to
be "the most powerful prophetic dirg e which we possess in the Old

146

R eproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
i t s use o f the qinah^ meter make the passage very d i s t i n c t from i t s

background. Although, as says Cobb, "we fin d i t (the t e x t ) marked

o f f form i t s context w ith only a narrow penumbra on e i t h e r s id e ,"


3 4
it seems th a t from vs. 24 on we have a d i f f e r e n t m a tte r. Concerning

vss. 1-3 there is more disagreement among scholars, who are d iv id e d


5
among those who b e lie v e those verses are the prophet's product

and others who say they were w r i t t e n by a l a t e r hand.^ The case

f o r e d i t o r i a l a c t i v i t y has been argued w ith v ig o r ; the d iffe r e n c e in

Testament . . . and indeed one o f the most precious o f a l l OT poems.


. . ." 0. Kaiser ( Is a ia h 13-39 OTL [ P h ila d e lp h ia : The Westminster
Press, 1974], p. 29) adds t h a t i t " is one o f the most powerful poems
not only o f the OT, but o f the whole w o rld ."

1-See on the qin a ii C. Budde, "Poetry (Hebrew)," DB (1 9 0 5 -1 2 )


2 :5 ; idem, "Das Hebraische K la g e lie d ," pp. 1-52; Eduard S iev e rs ,
Metrische Studien I : Studien zu r Hebraischen M e trik (L e ip z ig : B. G.
Teubner, 1901); W ildbe rger, p. 537.

2 W. H. Cobb, "The Ode in Is a ia h X IV ," JBL 15 (1 8 9 6 ):1 8 .


3
There are several d i f f e r e n t views concerning the end o f the
poem: Wildberger (p . 537) who th in k s the poem ends w ith vs. 20;
M arti ( Das Buch J e s a ja , KHC [Tubingen: J. C. B. Mohr (P. S ieh s c k),
1 90 0 ], p. 122 ); H. L. Ginsberg ( The Book o f Is a ia h , A New T r a n s la tio n
[P h ila d e lp h ia : Jewish Pub. S o c ie ty o f America, 1 973], p. 4 4 );
A. Dupont Sommer ("Note exegetique sur Is a ie 1 4 :1 6 -2 1 ," RHR 134 [1948]
7 2 - 8 0 ) ; and G. B. Gray ( I s a i a h , p. 232) argue f o r vs. 21 as the end
o f the ode. W. H. Cobb (pp. 24-25 ) closes the poem w ith vs. 22;
E. J. Kissane ( The Book o f I s a i a h , 2 v o ls . [D u b lin : Browne and
Nolan, 1 94 1 ], 1:167) ends i t w ith vs. 23; e tc .

4Most o f the scholars b e lie v e vss. 24-27 r e f e r to the f a l l of


an Assyrian King, probably Sennacherib; c f . Cobb, p. 18; E. Henderson,
pp. 127, 138.
c
C f. Henderson, p. 127; A. Dillm ann, Der Prophet Jesaia
( L e ip z ig : S. H i r z e l , 189 0 ), pp. 125, 133; and M a r t i , p. 122, who
a t t r i b u t e s vss. I - 4 a to the author o f 1 3 :2 -2 2 .

^Cf. T. K. Cheyne, The Prophecies o f I s a i a h , 1:288; Duhm,


p. 116; G. H. Box, The Book o f Is a ia h (Londo~n~: Isaac Pitman, 1 908),
p. 73; Skinner, I s a i a h , p. 112; Procksch, Jesaia I , p. 193;
W ildberger, p. 537.

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148

manner o f speaking and s t y le is s e l f - e v i d e n t . Both 1 4 : l - 4 a and

22:23 appear to presuppose and use 1 4 :4 b -21 in i t s c o n t e x t J


2
H. Barth notes several strong points in the passage which show

t h a t 1 4 : 1 - 4a and 22-23 form a kind o f in c lu s io th a t he holds was

shaped by the e d i t i n g arrangement o f the complex o f 1 3 :1 -1 4 :2 7 .


3 4
Duhm came up w ith the argument and Cobb fu rth e re d the

idea th a t the s p i r i t o f vss. 1-3 agrees with p o s t - e x i l i c l i t e r a t u r e ,

e s p e c i a l l y the book o f Zechariah, and th a t the Isaiah passage must

be dependent on the w r i t i n g o f the p o s t - e x i l i c prophet, where the

expressions come in more n a t u r a l l y . Thus, although th e re is d i s ­

agreement about by whom and when vss. l - 3 ( 4 a ) were w r i t t e n , scholars

are unanimous as f a r as the beginning o f the song is concenred.

The word "> K— besides the points presented above— shows th a t the

lament has s ta r te d . Concerning the point a t which the poem should

end, we w i l l return to t h i s a f t e r discussing the stanzas d e lim ite d

in the passage.

P o etic S tru c tu re and Form

I t was only a l i t t l e more than two c e n tu rie s ago th a t t h i s

powerful song s ta rte d to be seen as i t should be, in the rhythmic

form in which— with g r e a t p r o b a b i l i t y - - i t was o r i g i n a l l y w r i t t e n .

^H. Barth, p. 126.

^As f o r example (a g a in s t them) which r e f e r s back


to the mentioned p l u r a l i s t i c independent item o f vss. 20b, 21. The
expression n m t n j n n n (and shall r u le over t h e i r oppressors,
vs. 2 ) , and the e x p l i c i t or i m p l i c i t d is tin g u is h in g mark o f s la v e ry
o f the subject in vss. 2 - 6 is in conformity w ith the subjugation in
vss. 4b—21.

3 P. 116. 4 Pp. 1 8-20 .

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149

In the eighteenth c e n tu r y } R. Lowth, the f a t h e r o f modern a n aly s is

o f a ncie nt Hebrew p o e try , attempted to arrange the order o f the

poem in his study o f i t .


2
H. Ewald went a step f u r t h e r , d iv id in g the poem in to f i v e

stanzas and c o n tr ib u tin g some comments on the rhythm o f the poetry.

•J. Ley and G. B ic k e ll made f u r t h e r advances,^ but i t was C. Budde

wno, in doing a study o f the s tr u c tu re o f the Hebrew poetry in the

book o f Lamentations, discovered the use o f what came to be c a lle d


4
qinah meter, which is well represented in Isa 14.

In qinah meter every l i n e or p o e tic verse has fiv e accents.

The verses or l i n e s are "uniform ly composed in verses o f two members,

the length of the f i r s t o f which stands to t h a t o f the second in the

proportion of 3 : 2 , g iv in g r is e to a p e c u lia r limping rhythm, in

which the second member as i t were dies away and e x p ire s ." '*

Lowth equated the genre o f the Is a ia h ode to the one found

in Lamentations o f Jeremiah;** Ewald was o f the opinion th a t Ezek 19

served as a p a tte r n to the w r i t e r o f t h i s poem;^ Budde believed in

^R. Lowth, Lectures on the Sacred Poetry o f the Hebrews,


1:217; idem., I s a i a h : A New T r a n s l a t i o n , pp. x x i i i , 26-27.

^H. Ewald, pp. 158-62.

^See G. B i c k e l l , "Aus einem B r ie fe des Herrn P rof. G. B i c k e l l , "


ZDMG 33 ( 1 8 7 9 ) :7 0 1 -0 6 ; C. Budde, "Das Hebraische K la g e lie d ," pp. 12-17.

4 Budde, "Das Hebraische K la g e lie d ," pp. 1 -5 2.

^Cf. C. Budde, "Poetry (Hebrew)," DB ( 1 9 1 1 ) , 4 :5 . Norman


Gottwald ("P o e try [Hebrew]," IDB [ 1 9 6 2 ] , 3:834) i l l u s t r a t e s the
breaking short o f the second colon as being " l i k e a catch in the
t h r o a t . " G. Von Rad, Old Testament Theology, 2 v o ls . tra n s . D. M. G.
S ta lk e r (New York: Harper and Row, 1 9 6 2 -6 5 ), 2 :3 8 , warning a gains t
the tendency to view the qinah as a uniform genre, says th a t "the
l a t e r prophets a c t u a l l y turned i t (th e d ir g e ) upside down and
parodied i t . "

**Lowth, I s a i a h , p. 224. ^Ewald, p. 162.

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150

the p o s s i b i l i t y th a t the l a t e r author o f Isa 14 had borrowed the

a r t form from the book of Lam entationsJ

I f on one side i t is agreed among the scholars th a t the dirge

was w r itte n in the qinah meter s t y l e , the s it u a t io n is not the same

concerning the s trophical d iv is io n o f the poem. S. Drechsler fin d s

two main lin e s in the song, vss. 4 b - 11. 12-21, each with three
2
stanzas o f r e g u la r a lt e r n a t i n g rhythms ( 3 : 2 : 3 ; 4 : 2 : 4 ) : vss. 4 b-6 ,

7 - 8 , 9-1 1; 1 2 -1 5 , 16-17, 18-21. Ewald divided the poem in to f i v e

s tanzas, each having seven longer or s h o rte r l i n e s , with the excep­

t io n o f the l a s t which— he says— f i t s the a r t form o f the lament and

has f i v e l i n e s ; thus the d iv is io n vss. 4 b -8 , 9 -1 1 , 1 2-15, 16-19,

2 0 -2 1 .3 Duhm,4 M e i e r , 3 Q u e l l , 3 e t c . , 7 also see f i v e stanzas or

p a rts in the poem.Wildberger avoids the term "stanza11 (s tro p h e )


O
and suggests "section" (A b s c h n itte n ).

I t seems, then, th a t we can s a f e ly a f f ir m th a t vss. 4 b-8 ,

8 - 1 1 , and 12-15 c o n s titu te the th re e f i r s t d iv is io n s or strophes o f

the poem and, as Ewald says, "They d iv id e themselves according to

^udde, "Das Hebraische K la g e lie d ," p. 15.

^Quoted in i b i d . , p. 12. 3Ewald,pp. 158-62.

4Pp. 116-22; vss. 4 b-8 , 9 -1 1 , 12-15 , 16-19 a , 19b-21.

3Cf. Budde, "Das Hebraische K la g e lie d ," p. 12. M e ie r ’ s


d iv is i o n is as fo llo w s: vss. 3 - 6 , 7 - 1 0 , 11-12, 13-17, 1 8-23 .

3Pp. 146-56. Q u e ll ’ s d i v is i o n i s : vss. 4 b-8 , 9 -1 1 , 1 2-15 ,


1 6 - 20b; 2 0 c -21; the l a s t section is not considered a stanza.

7See a lso M a r t i , pp. 123-27; Lohmann, Die anonymen


P ro p h e tie n , pp. 19-20.

^ W ildberger, pp. 540-41.

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151

the three great d i v is i o n s — e a r t h , lower w orld, and heavenJ

Let us now examine in more d e t a i l these c l e a r l y determined

three f i r s t d iv is io n s o f the poem and, l a t e r , the r e s t o f the poem.

Strophe I — Vss. 4b-8

n n m n nn oa ■a 3 3 1 3 1 1 ■>K 4b
□ • > " ? o n □ 2 to o •>y o n la n m m to o 5
m o ', n ’?o h d q 11373 m o 7 133 6
io n O n q u a 3 1 3 1X3 m i
m o in is ? i k n “ 3 no p f.1 in i 7
I u i ) m x - P 7 I D 'S 0 "• 0 1 1 0 ~03 8
.113 1 m v ^ ~ x i 13 3 1 r «0

The f i r s t bicolon o f the stanza seems to have an undisturbed

qinah meter. The f i r s t word (" P K ) , which appears also in vs. 12,
2
is the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c f o s s i l o f the lament. The second bicolon has

an e x tra stress in the f i r s t colon. Stark^ had a lre a d y suggested


4
the s t r i k i n g out o f m m and read " in s as 1 3 0; Guthe favored

reading 1 3 S T . W ildberger accepts these suggestions and says th a t

since the poem does not make use o f God's name, the m n 1 in vs. 5

must be a secondary i n t e r f e r e n c e .^ However, since 1Q Isa brings the

tetragramaton in vs. 5, and we do not have any manuscript which

Ewald, p. 162. C f. G. A. Smith, The Book o f I s a i a h , (New


York: A. C. Armstrong, 1 9 0 8 ), p. 409. For the development o f the
h is to r y o f the study o f the s tro p h ic s tru c tu re o f Hebrew P o etry,
see Ch. F. K r a f t , The S trophic S tru c tu re o f Hebrew (Chicago:
U n iv e r s ity Press, 1938). P rin slo o (p . 434) has, by means o f a
s y n ta tic a l a n aly s is o f vss. 1 2-15 , demonstrated how those verses
c o n s t itu te a " n e a tly fin is h e d c i r c u l a r s tru c tu re (ABA)," which
strengthens the view t h a t vss. 12-15 are the t h i r d stanza o f the
poem.
2
See W ildberger, p. 539.

S ta e rk , Das assyrische W e ltr e ic h , p. 227.

4See H. Jahnow, Das Hebraische L e ic h e n lie d , p. 239.

^Wildberger, p. 534.

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152

omits i t , E. S i e v e r s ' 1 suggestion th a t we should keep m n *> w ith

the stress ly in g upon i t and the verb as an anacrusis is s t i l l v a lid .

The t h i r d and fo u rth bicola o f th is strophe f i t p e r f e c t l y in

the meter used in the poem, since the l a s t stresses o f both bicola

are formed by two words in construct s ta te : 2 n Pa.

The f i f t h and s ix t h b ic o la have p r o c l i t i c s joined to the fo llo w in g

words by the maqqeph, y - i x i T P a and a 1 3 i t and run smoothly.

The l a s t bicolon o f the stanza is a re g u la r f i v e - s t r e s s one, except


2 3
th a t the pause f a l l s a f t e r the second stress w ith "a r h e t o r i c a l "

pause a f t e r the t h i r d .

Strophe I I — Vss. 9-11

-]«n ax-.p) n m nnno ^ xa 9


vix 1n n y ” 3 a a 1 x ej a 1> m y
a n 3 •'D 'p n > 3 m i x o a a a'1 pn
-p p x t a a x n u v a >a 10
nP y a a 1 a 1 > « i n a a n o n a n « _ aa
1 ■
>P a a m arr 1 2 a xa P a s o m rr n
av?an v o a a a a a a v t -1 v a n n

In the f i r s t two b ic o la the poet uses the p a r t i c l e ~i P in two

d i f f e r e n t ways: as an e n c l i t i c 1 P “ n t 3 ~i (9a) and as c a rry in g a

fu ll stress in i t s e l f ( 9 b ) . That is a choice the w r i t e r can u t i l i z e

in w r itin g p o e try . In the f i r s t colon o f the t h i r d bicolon we fin d

only two words, c m x o a n a ^ p n , and here occurs Budde's case 4 2 , 4

where instead o f three words two weighty ones are used. The next

^Metrische Studien I : Studien zur Hebraischen M e trik


(L e ip z ig : B. G. Teubner, 1 901), p. 439.
n
Budde's Case #3 (the main accent f a l l s in the second and
not in the t h i r d word, and the f i r s t member o f the bicolon is smaller
than the second o n e ); “Das Hebraische K la g e lie d ," p. 7.

3Cobb, p. 21.

^Only two words in each member, and because one is longer


and more powerful i t predominates and c a r r ie s one p o in t; "Das
Hebraische K l a g e l i e d , ” p. 7.

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153

bicolon i s , as shown in the MT, too s h o rt. Duhm and Cheyne" pe r­

ceived the lacuna but did not suggest any word to f i l l it. Cobb'*

suggested ' p i ' ; - , before P a , saying th a t " i t would form an assonance

w ith "P ^ K , as in vs. 16." M a r t i 4 suggested n n n t f a "with gla d ­

ness"; and 3HS n : n 5 or n n rr . However, as says P rin s lo o , " it

is r i s k y to emend the t e x t on the strength o f the metre. The metre

o f 12b could be e i t h e r a d i s t i n c t i v e v a r i a t i o n , or could even pass

as 2:3 m e t r e . T h e l a s t three b ic o la o f t h i s second strophe do

not o f f e r any m e tr ic a l problem.

Strophe I I I — Vss. 12-15

n p j p x 12
a n r v ; y a xy ny t a :
i i ’7 V X D ' > D ‘»n m ax nnxi 13
■•xoaamx 7 x - ' | 23iai> >yaa
p s s T ia v a a y t a ~a n a a y x i
I rtaax av ’ n a a ' V ; ny y x 14
m a _ ', n a - p ~ ? x - m n y i x y y x i x 15

The second bicolon is too short in i t s f i r s t colon i f we want

to preserve the 3 :2 meter. The BHS, fo llo w in g a host o f scholars

from the end o f the n ineteenth century o n ,'7 suggests f i l l i n g the

gap with 1 ^ x as we found in the f i r s t bicolon (1 2 a ) . Although the

V 118.

The Book o f the Prophet Isa ia h (New York: Dodd, Mead,


and Co., 1898), p. 62.

3P. 22. 4P. 124.

^See, e . g . , 1 3 :9 , 17; 47:14 f o r use o f n 3 n. C f. Lohmann,


Die anonymen P ro p h e tie n , p . 20.

^ "Is a ia h 1 4 :12 -1 5 — H u m ilia t io n ," p. 434.

^Cheyne, Prophecies o f I s a i a h , p. 9; idem, The Book o f the


Prophet I s a i a h , p. 63; Duhm, p. 119; M a r t i , p. 124; S ta erk , Das
assyrische W e l t r e ic h , p. 227.

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154

suggestions o f Cobb and the BHS are a t t r a c t i v e s and t h e i r proposed

emmendations do not change the sense o f the phrase but only c o rrec t

the m eter, we do not fin d the apparent lac k in g word supplied in any

MS, in c lu d in g IQ Is 3 . The author could have w r it t e n t h i s 2:2 bicolon

as an in tr o d u c tio n to the d i r e c t address th a t fo llo w s , or i n t e n t i o n a l l y

produced the three f i r s t stanzas w ith one odd fcicolon as a p a tte rn .^

I do not see any o th e r m etrical i r r e g u l a r i t y in th is t h i r d d iv is io n

o f the poem.

Strophes IV and V--V ss. 1 6 - 2 1 ( 2 2 ) ^

u j i i r p trr-* a an v k i 16
n i u t ’ QD y t s n t 1 1 i d ' J1 x n mri
Din m v i ^ 1 3 3 17
3 i-i] 18 nmnnriD-ro m n x
T n m S'* X 1U D 1 1DDD :> D
2 y ri j tsdd i m po nD^-i n hn«i 19
' u ' ^ dx 'I'K i t’ v tin 1 r;a a yi ny

u tiD p : n n K ' r n n _ x ,? 2 0 d d i d pd 3d
n n n ]D y n n y i s i x - ■>3
C ’y m y n T d p v p
a m n x 11 y t nnso i ’ddp n n n 21
y ^ y P n n ~ '> D 3 t x p d i vpx p i i D P -1' ! :
nixi'i mni 3x3 tnoy 1 napi
m m "3X3 i D j i n1 n t k an ay p d d p n n m 22

The word n t n (16b) is p r o c l i t i c and forms one stress with the

word T xn th a t fo llo w s . I f we have in t h i s poem, as i t stands, those

f a i r l y good— m e t r i c a l l y speaking— d iv is io n s a t f i r s t , the same is not

tru e concerning the fo llo w in g two; f o r beginning w ith the fo u rth bicolon

(v s . 17b) there is a disturbance in the sense and rhythm o f the poem.

Stanza I , vss. 4-8— 6 b ic o la w r i t t e n in q in a h , the l a s t one


reversed in 2:3
Stanza I I , vss. 9-11— 6 b ic o la w r i t t e n in qinah w ith the
middle one reversed in 2:3
Stanza I I I , vss. 12-15— 6 b ic o la w r it t e n in q in a h , w ith the
second one reversed or shortened to 2 :2 .
2
Because o f the apparent disturbance e x i s t e n t a t the end o f
the fo u rth stanza and beginning o f the f i f t h stanza, which makes i t
d i f f i c u l t to d e l i m i t them w ith c e r t a i n t y , we put them together and
arranged the b ic o la a r b i t r a r i l y .

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155

Sudde c a l l s a tte n tio n to the Athnah in the word o 2 3 in

vs. 13 and a ffirm s th a t T n a n U D 3 ay a ’ D ia 'iD

should be the f i f t h bicolon o f the strophe; he cuts o f n n 1 : in

vs. 17 because, he says, no e q u iv a le n t is found in the Greek and

Syriac tran s atio n s and suggests th a t the genuine conclusion o f vs.

17 (o r fo u rth bicolon of the strophe) should be the form


i 2 ,
a a'< a y z n x ." Cobb agrees th a t Budde s suggestion re stores vss.

17 and 18 to r e g u l a r i t y but asks i f “t h i s is not secured a t a too

high p r i c e " ; he proposes the dropping o f rr n 3 and the reading o f i t

over in to the next verse. G r a tz , P e rle s , and K i t t e l 3 suggest the

reading n 1 .? ^ :p -p ? « £ ' which supplies the

p re p o s itio n 7 to the f i r s t word, and adds a new word (which

in turn is formed by the n from n n ■> a plus ^ 3 from the beginning

of vs. IS by supplying an x o f the noun x > 3 ). The f i f t h bicolon

of the stanza would then beformed by the next f i v e words in vs. 18:

11P3 323 a m '> 3 2 3 . As f a r as i n *> 2 a "J ^ x is con­

cerned, Wildberger thinks i t could be a gloss.

Dupont-Sommer3 thinks th a t i t seems impossible to consider

the colon Q ^ n 'l 3 ’? 3 “ '?3 "All the kings o f the nations" as the

complement of the l a s t colon o f vs. 17 and says th a t those words belong

^"Das Hebraische K la g e lie d ," p. 13; c f . also Dupont-Sommer,


"Note e xegetique," p. 74.

. 22; c f . also M a r t i , p. 126.

3Cf. M a r t i , p. 126.

4"Den Gefangenen o ff n e t e e r n ic h t das Haus des Gefangnisses."


Wildberger (p. 535) follow s th is suggestion but v o ca lizes the l a s t
word o f the bicolon as (verb ). ("Das Haus, da e r sie
verschlossen h i e l t . " ) *’ "r

3,,Note e xe ge tique ," pp. 7 3-74.

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156

w ith not to what precedes but to what follow s; on the o th e r hand

he assents th a t t n ^ 2 2 u1 « n : : : 2^2 form a p e r fe c t

bicolon. That being so, Dupont-Sommer suggests th a t vs. 17c is

incomplete and lacks a colon o f two stresses to have an expected

qinah bic o lo n . In s im i l a r fa s h io n , vs. 18a c o n s titu te s the beginning

o f a new bicolon which l o s t several words. The o th e r f i v e b ic o la

a r e , according to him, i n t a c t ; w ith th is arrangement the fo u rth

strophe o f the poem ends w ith the f i r s t bicolon of vs. 19. I t seems

t h a t the f i r s t bicolon of vs. 19 makes sense and is in a p e r fe c t

pentameter.

Ewald^ a lre a d y perceived the d i f f i c u l t y in vs. 19 and, in

t r y in g to e s t a b lis h sense and rhythm, had set the words O i l 3 "■ 2 2 2

o f the end o f vs. 19 a f t e r the Athnah o f the same verse and pulled

out the r e s t o f the verse as f i r s t colon o f vs. 20 ("Those who go

down to the stones o f the grave— w ith them a r t thou not joined in
2
b u ria l" ). But in t h i s arrangement 19b is s t i l l too long f o r a

re g u la r qinah b ic o lo n . Budde th in k s th a t vs. 20a has something

clumsy in i t s f i r s t bicolon and does not e lim in a te the p o s s i b i l i t y

o f damage in the c ontext. He suggests th a t in the p lace o f

m i3 P 3 a n rt we should read c n i ~i 2 p 2 which makes (f o llo w in g

Ewald's suggestion) 20a a r e g u la r f i v e - s t r e s s b ic o lo n . Thus,

fo llo w in g the above o bservations, vss. 1 9 -20a wouldappear:

:v n i i^ 3b - j- i n p o n2 P y n anki
i ] 33 2 -i rr ■» 2 y a n a ^ 2 rr tn 2 >
i n n * x 7 ~r 11 ^

^P. 160. ^Thus also Cobb, p. 23.

^"Das Hebraische K la g e lie d ," p. 13.

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157

The t e x t arranged according to Ewald, Budde, Duhm, and Cobb

includes vs. 22 as belonging to the poem, completing the f i v e

stanzas o f seven pentameter verses each. Dupont-SommerJ d is ­

cussing in d e t a i l the m e tr ic a l and contextual problems of vss.

19 b -21, proposes th a t the passage 19b-20a should not antecede but

fo llo w 20b-21. In doing t h a t the word D ', ~iy , which is superfluous,

u n i n t e l l i g i b l e , and in excess to the meter o f 21b, would precede

ivaa ^ n n "i t n 7 ( □ ’• a y ) , which would give sense to

the word i a7 . Besides t h a t , i t would complete the meter o f th a t

bicolon (Dupont-Soiraner suggests a small emmendation o f the word

or t h a t i t be read as ', a~iy C=', ? ' ! V , or ^ a ~[V ] "naked,

d e s p o ile d " ). Thus the stanza would be presented as,

n n n i ay nnn
i 2f - t N “ a
y aa y i r K-,p-»-xy
a n u x ir ; a nnao'i'-aay n n n
) 3 n■ 1i s i y -iK itf-m Tap^-ya
n a n ' * 3y o n a ■> 3 ~i n y 3 3 y 1 a ~ty
2 ....................... ',1 3 ‘ ', ] 3 S _ y x
4am a a 3 a3 naiapa a n k ~ n n - sy

Dupont-Sommer adds t h a t the accident which caused th a t

a l t e r a t i o n was a very simple one: lack of space led a copyist to

w r ite in the margin the l a s t three verses le a v in g in the column

^"Note e x e g e tiq u e ," pp. 75-80.


2
In Dupont-Sommer1s view there was a loss o f two words or
stresses in 19c.

^In b e h a lf of b e t t e r sense, 19d is transposed and placed


a f t e r 20a.
4
Because you have destroyed your la n d , s la in your people,
W ill never be named again the o ff s p r in g o f the wi.cked:
Prepare a sla u g h ter f o r his sons; because o f the g u i l t o f ( t h e i r f a t h e r ) :
Lest they r i s e and possess the e a rth and f i l l the face o f the world!
Unclothed o f ( h i s ) garment, slaughtered, pierced by the sword,
They descend to the stones o f the p i t . . .
You w i l l not j o i n them in b u r ia l l i k e a corpse trampled underfoot.

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158

the f i r s t word o f these three verses ( ' , .2 ~,. v ) ; a l a t e r c o p y is t, in

r e -in tr o d u c in g the passage from the margin in to the column again,

put i t between stanzas f our and f i v e , instead o f a t the end; as a

re s u lt 2 1 2 '? was separated from ' • o n v and l e f t to o f f e r with

a 1 1 i n a strange combination. As f a r as the word ^ a i V is con­

cerned, l e f t a t the end o f the poem, i t was changed, more or less

w ith the c o n te x t, to D ', ~ iy .

We have to agree w ith Dupont-Sommer th a t t h i s r e c o n s titu ­

tio n o f the stanza o ff e r s a lim p id sense. However, Dupont-

Sommer1s pro p o s itio n has against i t some strong points such as:

(1 ) i t demands a d r a s t ic a l t e r a t i o n in the order o f the members

o f the stanza; (2 ) i t requires the tr a n s p o s itio n o f two other

words ( 3 3 1 a ■ '.3 3 2 ) from the MT o rd e r; (3 ) i t demands the emmen-

dation of the word a 1 I V in to 1 a n v ; and (4 ) i f the mentioned

s c r ib e 's change in the order o f some verses r e a l l y happened, we

would have the chance— although a small one— o f having some MS

w ith the o r i g i n a l or d i f f e r e n t reading (but 1QIsa shows nothing

of the k in d ). At any r a t e , Dupont-Soirener' s suggestion, despite its

a ttra c tiv e n e s s , s t i l l is only a c o n je c tu re . I t is p a r t i c u l a r l y

a t t r a c t i v e in one aspect— i t contends f o r a poem o f f i v e stanzas

o f pentameter verses, ending w ith vs. 21, which i t seems was most

l i k e l y the o r i g i n a l ending o f the poemJ


2
Other scholars have t r i e d to re co n s tru c t t h i s apparently

^Although BHS t r i e s , in opposition to BHK^, to w r ite verse


members in vss. 22-23, the r e s u lt s a r e , as notes W ildeberger, "only
' l i n e s ' w ith a r b i t r a r y meter w ith o u t the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c p a ra lle iis m u s
membrorum o f the Hebrew poetry" (p . 537).
2
Duhm (pp. 120-21) a lre a d y recognized d i f f i c u l t i e s in v s i .
1 9 f f . due, according to him, to c o p y is ts ' n e g lig e n c e, marginal

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159

disturbed passage (vss. 19-20a) o f the poem, but in doing so they

d e a l t w ith the t e x t a r b i t r a r i l y and o ffe re d only c o njectures. We

do not discuss the d e t a i l s o f these various views concerning the

possible s o lu tio n o f th is a p p a re n tly disarrayed p a rt o f the poem,

because i t is not c ru c ia l to the main o b je c tiv e o f t h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n .

We would l i k e to say, however, t h a t despite our ignorance in r e l a t i o n

to the o r i g i n a l arrangement o f these f i v e or s ix b i c o la , upon one

thing most o f the scholars agree: the poem was o r i g i n a l l y w r i t t e n

in f i v e stanzas o f seven b ic o la each in qinah meter. We are almost

sure th a t vs. 21 marks the end o f the poem; the t h i r d stanza is a

kind o f climax or high p o in t in the poem, and i t s language stands

out as very d i s t i n c t i v e in r e l a t i o n to the other four stanzas.

notes, e t c . ; and proposed f o r vss. 19-20a, the fo llo w in g recon­


s tr u c tio n ,
3 3n ”> ] y a a □ •> : 3 3 n 3 n 3 ? n nnxi
0 3 3 1 3 1 3 3 D 11 3 ” 1 3 x ^T ]1 1
d v d 'd id ip d O o r a ; -=p k ]
[ n ; j 3 ] •■d i p [7 1 3 3 d t f53 32? V * ]
r r o 3 3 ? 3 n n « ~ n n S'? " V p p/1 5 k.
Du aber b i s t hingeworfen u nte r ErWlirgte'Schwertdurchbohrte
Hinabfahrend zu den Steinen der Grube, wie ein z e r tre te n e s Aas.
[0 wie b i s t du e n t f e r n t ] von deinen Grabe, wie ein verabscheuter Spross
[0 wie l i e g s t du ohne E hren,] b e k le id e t [m it d e in er Schande]!
[Deine V a te r] n ic h t v e re in s t du dich m it ihnen im Begrabnis.
Lohmann ( Die Anonymen P ro p h e tien , pp. 11-19) a f t e r d e t a il e d
a n a ly s is o f the t e x t o f LXX and o f Duhm's, B i c k n e l l ' s , and S i e v e r s
view s, suggested the fo llo w in g f o r those f i v e b ic o la :
3 y nd y.333 a m in: h d v jh rrn«i
3 '' 3 [ ] •> 3 3 3 3 3 !3 ■> D y 3 ~ ~ i 3 3
A a n :? ' 7 " « •? m
o o a 3 - f a 3 133? a’ ii3r^3 ' 2 “ ?y
a n 3 ? 3 a n x 3 rT n ; ~xr’? ^ n i 3 x
"But you are cast out w ith the dead l i k e ^ a loathed m is c a rria g e .
Among the pierced by sword, who descend to the p i t .
How f u l l of blood your garment, w ith o u t your p u r i t y .
Therefore you have been separated from your grave, l i k e a corpse
trampled under fo o t .
You w i l l not jo in your fa th e rs in b u r i a l . "

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160

Mockery Lament

The s u p ers c rip tio n o f the poem c l a s s i f i e s i t as a ^ - 2 . The

word is used f o r t y - e i g h t times in the OT, in both verbal and nominal


1
forms. Examining the c l e a r instances where the masal genre appears,

we discover th a t " i t was not c h ara c te rize d by a more or less fix e d


2 3
l i t e r a r y form ," but "a p p lie s to a v a r i e t y o f l i t e r a r y ty p e s ." A
v 4
masal was determined more by i t s content and fu n c tio n " than by i t s

l i t e r a r y form. I t could be p o e tic , prose, long, s h o r t, and formulated

in various l i t e r a r y types such as popular proverbs, a l l e g o r i z i n g


5
f a b l e , a by-word, s a t i r i c a l taunt poems, e tc .

The ro o t > 3 3 is used almost two hundred times in the OT


(see Lisowski, pp. 874 -7 5 , and Abraham Even-Shoshan, ed. A New Con­
cordance o f the Bible [Jerusalem: K iry a t Sepher, 1 9 8 2 ], pp. 7 1 9 -2 0 ),
and has been used associated w ith two meanings: "to be l i k e " and "to
r u l e , or dominate" ( c f . KBL, p. 576; BDB, p. 6 0 5 ). AKK. MaSalu "to
be s im ila r " ( c f . CAD, 1 0 / 1 : 3 5 3 - 5 8 ) ; and Arab, m itlun " lik e n e s s , the
same" ( c f . Joan Copeland B i e l l a , D ic tio n a ry of uTd South Arabic HSSt
25 [Chico, CA: Scholars Press, 1982], pp. 2 8 6 -8 7 ). For the possible
etim ology o f the word and discussion o f the two meanings o f the root
masal and t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p , see J. Schmidt, Studien zur S t i l i s t i k
der A1ttestam entlichen S p r u c h li t e r a t u r (Munster: Aschendorffsche
Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1 9 3 6 ), pp. 1 -2 ; A lle n H. Godbey, "The Hebrew
M a l a l , " AJSL 39 (1 9 2 2 -2 3 ):8 9 —108; Maxime Hermaniuk, La Parabole
Evangelique: Enquete exegetique e t C r it iq u e (B ruges-P aris e t Louvain:
Desclee, de Brouwer, e t B ib lio th e c a A lfo n s ia n a , 1 9 4 7 ), pp. 64-65.
See also K. M. Beyse, " > 3 3" JWAT (1 9 8 4 ), 5 :7 0 -7 4 .

George M. Landes, "Jonah: A MasaT" in I s r a e l i t e Wisdom:


Essays in Honor o f Samuel T e r r i e n . E d it . J. G. Gammie, W. A.
Brueggemann, W. L. Humphreys, J. M. Ward (M issoula, MT: Scholars
Press, 1 9 7 8 ), p. 138; Landes presents a c o l le c t i o n o f 0T malalTm to
show the d i v e r s i t y o f uses o f the term (pp. 1 40 -4 6 ).

^D. S u te r, "MaSal in the S im ilitu d e s o f Enoch," JBL 100


(1 9 8 1 ):1 9 6 .

4C f. Landes, p. 139; J. P iro t, "Le ’ MaSal' dans I'A n c ie n


Testament," RSR 37 (1 9 5 0 ):5 6 6 .

^For the b i b l i c a l passages which i l l u s t r a t e these forms, and


f o r comments on these c a t e g o r ie s , see Landes, pp. 138-46; W illia m
McKane, Proverbs: A New Approach, 0TL (London: SCM Press, 1 9 7 0 ), pp.
2 4 -3 3 ; A. S. H e rb e rt, "The P a r a b le 1 ( m a l a l ) in the Old Testament,"
SJT 7 (1 9 5 4 ):1 8 2 -9 6 ; Hermaniuk, pp. 65-124; Timothy P o lk, "Paradigms,
P ara b le s, and MgsSlTm: on Reading the Masal in S c r i p t u r e , " CBQ 45
(1 9 8 3 ):5 6 4 - 8 3 .

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161

Despite the d i f f i c u l t y in e x p l i c i t l y d e fin in g the term

m a s a lJ we can say th a t the term is " r e la te d to the ideas o f lik e n e ss ,


2
resemblance, and comparison.11

Among the mala! passages o f the OT, we f i n d four (Is a 14: Ad-

21 , Mic 2 : 4 , Hab 2 : 6 f f . , Num 2 1:2 7 -3 0 ) which have been considered as

a kind o f " s a t i r i c a l ta u n t poems,1,8 and as having a " d i r g e - l i k e


4 V—
q u a lity ." The LXX t r a n s la t e s the word masal in Isa 14:4 with

( la m e n ta tio n ). Modern tr a n s la tio n s have rendered the term

as proverb, byword, p a r a b le , t a u n t, r i d d l e , or a ll e g o r y . The use


5
o f the word 1 ' ( r in the beginning o f the poem and in vs. 12 con­

firm s the lam entation nature o f the t e x t . Commenting on the nature

o f the poem, Budde says: "Gerade durch den C o n tras t zwischen der

iro n isc h angewandten elegischen Form und dem hohnischen Triumphe

des In h a lts e r h a l t das Lied seine atzende S c h a r f e . " 8 Lohmann^ sees

in the poem " S a t i r i c a l Song" ( S p o t t li e d ) and "Funeral Song"

( L e ic h e n lie d ) blended; i . e . , the S a t i r i c a l Song clothes i t s e l f


g
in the apparel o f a d i r g e , where good q u a l i t i e s and good deeds

o f the deceased are sung and his loss is lamented. But as the

poet s ta r ts his funeral song, instead o f s in ging the good deeds

and l i f e o f j u s t i c e o f the deceased, a d e s c r ip tio n o f his

^Cf. P olk, "Paradigms," pp. 564-65; H e r b e r t , "P ara b le ,"


pp. 180-96; Hermaniuk, pp. 112-20.

2lan des, p. 139. 3I b i d . , p. 140.

4A. R. Johnson, " V i a , " VTSup 3 (1 9 5 5 ): 166; c f . also P i r o t ,


pp. 566, 572. T" r

5Cf. 2 Sam 1 :1 9 , 25,. 27; Isa 1:21.

8"Das Hebraische K la g e lie d ," p. 14.

^Die anonymen P ro p h e tie n , p. 21. C f. also Johnson, " V ’/ j V '


p. 166.

8Cf. 2 Sam 1:2 3; Isa 1 :2 1 -2 3 .

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162

tyranny and c ru e lty comes out. The poem describes the h a te fu l

c h a r a c te r o f the oppressor in dark colors in order to emphasize the

greatness o f the s a lv a tio n th a t comes by his death, Jahnow says

th a t the poet undertook a "conscious transform ation o f the Gattung


1 2
o f the lam ent," and c a l l s the product a "Parodic fune ra l song."

There is no doubt th a t the poem abounds in d irg e m o tifs ,

where we can feel the diverse phases and scenes of a fu n e ra l song;

but on the other hand one can catch some s a t i r i c a l elements blended

in the l a m e n t a t i o n /

It seems th a t a f t e r a l l th a t is s a id , E i s s f e l d t ' s "mocking

fune ra l lamentation" and Jahnow's "parodic funeral song" are good


4
expressions to describe the nature o f t h i s Isaiah poem. The term

is used c o r r e c t l y , but blends w ith the m o tif and meter o f the

qinah p o e t r y / In the case o f the poem being applied to an

e x i s t i n g power, the funeral lament would be meaningless, since i t

is sung when the lamented one is dead.*’ Duhm has seen in i t "in

s p ite o f the pe rf. a prophecy"-/ and in t h a t case, the poem would

V . 242 ("bewusste Umbildung m it der Gattung des Leichen-


lie d e s vorgenommen") .

^P. 231. See E i s s f e l d t ( I n t r o d u c t i o n , pp. 9 1 -9 2 ) f o r his


c o n s id e ra tio n s on the d iffe r e n c e s and s i m i l a r i t i e s between "mocking
song" and "funeral d i r g e ."

"^Wildberger (p. 540) c a l l s a t t e n t i o n to the f a c t t h a t what


is c a l l e d ^ s n i n Isa 14:4 is c a l l e d n ^ ^ P in Ezek 2 7 :2 ; 2 8:12,
e t c . ; he believes th a t the jo in in g o f n i ^? and > s o and the
a p p l i c a t i o n to a people or to the p o l i t i c a l enemy was not created
by the w r i t e r o f 1 4 : 4b—21.

^With W ildberger, p. 540.

^In Mic 2:4 the terms 7 s o and ^ stand side by s id e.

®The same could be said concerning Ezek 2 8 :1 1 -1 9 .

7 P. 117.

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163

bet a l k i n g of the end o f the Babylonian power in the f u t u r e , or of

some o th e r power which the / '2/d was in te n d in g .

Not s a t is f ie d w ith the frequent tr a n s la tio n s and d e f i n i t i o n s

o f the term masal--such as " p a ra b le ," “proverb," "by-word," e t c . - -

H erbert has w ritte n an a r t i c l e on the term and a rrived a t the

conclusion that

the masil of the OT . . . is a powerful rh e to ric a l or l i t e r a r y


device . . . [which] has a c l e a r l y recognisable purpose: th a t
o f quickening an apprehension of the re al as d i s t i n c t from the
wished f o r , or complacently accepted; o f compelling the hearer
o r reader to form a judgement on h im s e lf, his s it u a t i o n or his
conduct . . . [and i s ] used by the prophets [as] e s p e c i a l l y
intended to awaken men to the supreme r e a l i t y of God's present
judgment. . . J
2 3 4 5
Polk examined Landes', S u t e r 's , and H e rb e rt's discussion on

ma^al and concluded th a t t h e i r d e f i n i t i o n s and i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of

the term were wanting. Studying the use o f the word in E zekiel

he a r r i v e s a t the conclusion th a t when used in and as r e li q i o u s

d is c o u rs e , the masal wants to do something to , w ith , or f o r i t s

h e a re rs /re a d e rs . That "something is more than simply conveying to

them c e r t a i n inform ation, f o r inform ation does not begin to


■y .
exhaust the masal ' s m eaning." He remarks tha t the meaning of

comparison, analogy, to be l i k e , does not exhaust the te rm 's meaning

^"Parable," pp. 195-96.

^"Paradigms," pp. 564-83.

3Cf. "Jonah," pp. 138-58.

4Cf. "Masal in the S im ilitu d e s o f Enoch," pp. 193-212.

5Cf. "P arable," pp. 180-96.

5Polk, p. 567.

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164
.y .
and suggests the term pa radiqm to d efine i t . The masal combines

n oetic and normative fu nctions and performs an operation on the

audience. The masal paradigm forces s e l f - e v a l u a t i o n ; the

ordinances i t prescribes are g e n e r a lly absurd. I t is meant to

s tim u late r e f l e c t i o n among witnesses; i t presents the v ir t u e s or

f a i l u r e s o f a person or a people as a type f o r every hearer or

reader. Despite the f a c t th a t P olk's observations about the

term would, perhaps, not f i t in a l l the cases where the word

masal is used in the OT, his remarks seem to be sound and in


. y .
order as f a r as Isa 14 is concerned. The masal presented in

Isa 14, d e sp ite i t s possible immediate h i s t o r i c a l bearin g , conveys

something beyond the e ig h th - or seventh-century in c id e n ts . It

is paradigmatic o f the s tru g g le o f good and e v i l , and in so being,

i t would be wise f o r the a uthor o f the poem to put in the c en ter

o f the poem— q u ite unexpectedly— the real source or o r i g i n o f

every act o f tyranny, s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y , p r id e , and arrogance.

And in so doing he would have to re s o rt to an event in the

heavenly realm , since in Eden the seeds o f e v i l were a lre a d y

present.

The ta u n t ( V t / n ) is addressed against the king o f Babylon.

I t is i n t e r e s t i n g to note t h a t — besides being mentioned tw ice in

Gen 10:10; 11:5*— the prophet Isaiah was the f i r s t one to use the

term (Babel or Babylon) in the OT; a t a time when the

Babylonian nation or c i t y was not i n f l u e n t i a l as f a r as i t s

r e la t io n s h ip w ith Is r a e l was concerned.^

^The c i t y o f Babylon was i n f l u e n t i a l as f a r as the r e l a t i o n ­


ship with Assyria was concerned. See below pp. 181-82.

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165

Taking in to consideration th a t

1. the term T w p means l i t e r a l l y a " s i m i l e , " "comparison,"^

"p a ra b le ," e tc .

2. the poem under discussion was w r i t t e n in a prophetic

form in a time when the Babylonian power, although i n f l u e n t i a l ,

was n ot, as such, an enemy o f I s r a e l .

3. Is a ia h picked up a term ( T a n ) which had been used by


2
the Book o f Genesis (1 1 :9 ) connotating confusion ( T a n ) and
—r
opposition to God's plans ( Is a 21:9)

4. the a uthor o f the Book o f R evelation picked up

Is a ia h 's use o f the term and applied i t to a power h o s tile to God,

the mystic Babylon ( I s a 21:9— Rev 1 4 :8 ; Isa 48:20— Rev 1 8 : 2 - 4 )

5. in his apocalypse ( e s p e c i a l l y chap. 2 4 : 2 1 -2 2 ), the

prophet shows th a t in his message he has not only the immediate

h is to ric a l context in view but also a cosmic and more universal

scope in mind and c l e a r l y presents the tension between the e a r t h l y

and the cosmic realms in his w r i t i n g s , 2 i t is possible th a t the

prophet i s — d e sp ite the connection the poem could have w ith an

immediate h i s t o r i c a l e v e n t, as, f o r example, the d e fe at o f Babylon

by the Assyrians in 689 B.C. or the death o f an Assyrian monarch--

ta l k i n g about a power h o s t ile to a God which reveals H im self in

the actions o f the nations and t h e i r r u l e r s .

^See above, p. 160, n. 1.

2IXX r-'vY-jc-j ( r - j y ^ f J ; Vulg. Confusum.

2See below pp. 215-17.

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166

I t is tru e t h a t we are de aling here w ith a poetic piece of

l i t e r a t u r e which abounds in imagery and is d i f f i c u l t to be applied

in i t s t o t a l i t y to an e a r t h ly or cosmic power; but i t seems th a t

in blending both realms and two genres of lite ra tu re (qinah and

mashal) , the prophet reaches his o b je c t iv e o f d e p ictin g the end

o f every power h o s t i l e to God.

Text— Isa 14:4b-21

Vs. 4. How the oppressor has ceased, the fury^ ended!

The hapax legomenon n n n m (MT) has defied scholars'


e xplanations f o r a long time. Based on the p a r a l l e l use o f a n
and n rr i in Isa 3 : 5 , scholars emended t ( i n n n m n ) to i to have
the same p a r a l l e li s m in the Is a ia n ic lam ent; c f . Duhm, p. 118;
M a r t i , p. 123; Gray, p. 252; Procksch, p. 195; Ginsberg, "Reflexes
of Sargon," pp. 51, 53, e s p e c ia lly notes 38, 39, and h e a r t i l y
supports the 1 QISa 1s n n m s , and s e v e re ly c r i t i c i z e s H. M.
O rlin s k y ("S tudies in the S t. Mark's Is a ia h S c r o l l , IV ," JQR 43
[1 9 5 3 ]:3 3 4 - 3 7 ; idem, "Madhebah in Is a ia h 1 4 : 4 ," n 7 [ l S 5 7 ] : 2 0 2 - 3
f o r his proposal o f an etymology f o r the massoretic n i m : , and
his a s s e rtio n th a t the versions (LXX [cnuj-touoacTn; ] , Pesh ,
Targ, and Vulg r trib u tu m l 1 did not p o in t to n n n ' i n . Erlandsson
(pp. 2 9 -3 2 ) has worked on the problem and a rriv e d a t the conclusion
th a t nn rT T O stems from Aramaic 2 m ( G o ld ), the l i t e r a l meaning
being "gold t r i b u t e , " and tr a n s la te s the term " t r i b u t e , " supporting
the Vulg t r a n s l a t i o n . We r e a l l y do not know which term was the
o r i g i n a l one, although 1QIsa rendering has made the choice of
n n n i n a very possible one. Cf. G. R. D r i v e r , "Notes and S tu d ie s ,"
JTS 2 (1 9 5 1 ):2 5 ; M. D. Goldman, "The Is a ia h MS of the Dead Sea
S c r o l l s , " A8R 1 (1 9 5 1 ):1 0 -1 1 . As f o r the meaning o f the word, we
also do not know f o r sure the c o r r e c t one, b u t, based on the p a r a l l e l
word o f the antecedent colon ( w a n ) , the suggestions given by Gray
( ' t e r r o r ' ) , Vulg and Erlandsson ( ' t r i b u t e ' ) , NIV and 0. Kaiser
( ' f u r y ' ) , and Ginsberg ('tyra n n y ') seem reasonable. Cf. also
W ild b e rg er, p. 533.

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167

Vs. 5. Yahweh1 has broken the s t a f f o f the wicked, the


2
scepter o f the r u l e r s .

Vs. 6. That smote the peoples in wrath w ith unceasing"^

b lo w s,4 th a t trampled the nations in anger with r e l e n t l e s s 5 p e r­

s e c u tio n .5

Since the end o f the n in e te e n th century scholars have per­


ceived th a t the f i r s t colon o f vs. 5 is too long zo f i t the qinah meter
o f the poem, and the e lim in a tio n o f m r r 1 (which does not appear in
the r e s t o f the poem, and is considered a conscious i n t e r p o l a t i o n )
has been proposed; H. Guthe ( Das Z u k u n fts b ild des Jesaia [ L e ip z ig :
B r e itk o p t & H a r t e l , 1 885], p. 41) suggested th a t we read the f i r s t
word as 3 2 2? 3 ; Staerk ( Das assyrische W e ltr e ic h , p. 227) as 1 3 "i .
Cf. also Jahnow, p. 239.

^The LXX, as fr e q u e n tly happens ( c f . Isa 13:21; 1 4 :1 , 21)


uses the same word ( : o v ;-jyov ) f o r two d i f f e r e n t Hebrew synonymous
terms ( n a n and 3 2 ' 2 ) ; c f . Erlandsson, p. 32.

^MT '’ 3'? s . Lohmann ( Die anonymen P rophetien, p. 19) has


> ? ?•

is a hapax legomenon, meaning 's t o p p in g ', 'c e a s in g '.


The LXX has Vulg, 'i n s a n a b i l i ‘ ; Pesh has on ia * ; a l l o f the
versions f a i l e d to catch the c o r r e c t meaning. Cf. ErlaMdsson, p. 22.
5
Because o f the p a r a l l e l form f o r =1^9 in 6a the f a c t
th a t ^ J 3 never stands before a p e r fe c t ( c f . W ildberger, p. 534;
KBL, p. 1 29 ), and the absence o f a noun i t seems th a t the i n f .
abs. V'ilD. should be read ( c f . KBL, p. 338) o r , a noun, not
otherwise' a tte s te d .

S n o is a ho. p a r t , and as a noun means 'p e rs e c u tio n '


( c f . H. S. Nyberg, Hebreisk Srammatik [Uppsala: H. Geber, 1 9 5 2 ], §
75 q . ; KBL [ s u p l . ] , p. 168; c f . also J. Carmignac, “P rec isio n s au
Vocabulaire de l'H e b re u B ib liq u e ," VT 5 [1 9 5 5 ]:3 5 1 ) . Because o f the
p a r a lle lis m s n n n * " n 3 n and n ' r ~ i ~ n ~ r ~ : a , scholars have emended
a 'lp to n 7 1 n , 'Dominion1 w ith T a r g . ; the LXX seems not to have
read the word and tr a n s la te d f r e e l y according to the context
l b -jos -A -v '-j 's m itin g a na tio n w ith a w rathful p la g u e '. But
the MT is supported by 1QIS3 , Pesh, and Vulg (see also Auvray,
p. 160; Erlandsson, p. 3 2). Since the nour. n ] ] ? does not appear
in the OT, we should r a th e r fo l l o w the Pesh and 'the Vulg and read
^ t "~i h or =!'J'ha (see W ildberger, p. 5 34).

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168

Vs. 7. The whole e a rth is a t r e s t and q u i e t , they break

f o r t h in to sin g in g .*
2
Vs. 8. The ju m p e rs r e jo ic e a t you, the cedars o f Lebanon,

saying, since you were l a i d low, against us® no hewer** comes up.

Vs. 9. Sheol beneath is s t i r r e d up® to meet you when you

come; i t rouses** the shades^ to greet you; a l l the rulers® of the

The LXX makes ' s t a f f ' the subject o f n n : (iv -r.r.'c u -:


l, r J s - - 1I t rested in q u i e t ' ) and attaches i t to vs. 6 ( c f .
Erlandsson, pp. 3 2 - 3 3 ) . The term n s s occurs only in Is a ia h (4 4 :2 3 ;
49:13; 52:9; 54:1; 55:12 ; where i t is p a r a l l e l to n 3 ~i), and in
Psalms ( 9 8 : 4 , where i t is p a r a l l e l to n n and ~ i o r ) . The Vulg
f r e e l y tr a n s la te s rr 3 ~i i n s s w ith 'gavisa e s t e t e x u l t a v i t ' ; KBL,
p. 772, tr a n s la te s i t 'to be s e re n e '; Fohrer ( c f . W ildberger, p. 534)
tr a n s la te s n i l i n 3 3 w ith 's i e brechen in h e ite r n Jubel a u s '. Cf.
akk. p i$ u , ‘ be w h ite ; be b r i g h t ' .
2 ••
*31 ~i 3 means, according to KBL, p. 148, the Phoenician
Juniper (Junip’e rus phoenicea L . ) , and not Cypress ( Cupressus
Sempervirenz L .) as norm ally assumed. Cf. Immanuel Lbw, Die Flora
der Juden, 4 v o ls. (L e ip z ig : Alexander Kohut Memorial Foundation,
1 924-1938), 3 :2 6 -3 3 . The LXX i n t e r p r e t s a ■» o T i n as ra -'jAct roO
A u 3 d v o u, 'th e tre e s o f Lebanon', p a r a l l e l i n g to the second colon
o f vs. 8.

®The LXX and the Vulg a ttach t 2 ■> 7 y to n t a r r , the Pesh con­
nects i t to n P V ' 1 . C f. Gray, I s a i a h , p. 248, and Konig, J e s a ja , p.
180, f o r both views.

4m r ) has not to do w ith the name o f the hero of U g a r it KRT


te x t. C f. A. Kapelrud, Joel S tu d ie s , UUA 1948/4 (Uppsala: A. B.
Lundequist, 1948), pp. 26-30; W ildberger, p. 534; a gains t Q u e ll, p.
148.

®The LXX has e-tuxoauj^n, 'was made e m b it t e r e d ', f o r h T 3 ~ ;


Theod has joyi.j4n ’ was i r r i t a t e d ’ ; the Vulg has ‘ conturbatus e s t '
( i s c o n fu s e d '); Erlandsson (p . 16) follow s th is t r a n s l a t i o n . 'p '.'X'U
is fem inine, but the th re e verbs fo llo w in g i t a r e , in the MT,
masculine and fem inine. 0. Kaiser (p. 28) suggests th a t ~ i ' V and
3 ^ P rr should (w ith BHS) be regarded as i n f i n i t i v e s .

®See n. 5 above.

1 x s i has two d i s t i n c t meanings in the B ib le . I t r e fe r s

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earth , I t raises^ from t h e i r thrones a l l (who were) kings of the
2
nations.

Vs. 10. A ll of them w i l l speak^ and say to you: "You


4
have become weak as we, you have become l i k e us.

to a race o f g ia n ts who l i v e d in the earth before the I s r a e l i t e s came


(Gen 14:5; 1 5 :2 0 ; Deut 2 :1 1 , 20, e t c . ) ; and a ls o r e fe rs to the Shades
( s p i r i t s ) o f the dead (Job 2 6 :5 ; Prov 2:9 ; 9 :1 8 ; 21:16; Isa 2 6:14 ,
19, e t c . ) . For discussion on the obscure use o f the term in
U g a ritic m a te r ia l and i t s r e l a t i o n to the B i b l e ‘ s use, see: Ch.
V iro lle a n d , “Les Rephaim. Fragments de Poemes de Ras-Shamra," S yria
22 (1941): 1 -3 0 ; Gray, "The Rephaim," pp. 1 27 -3 9 ; A. Caquot, "Les
Rephaim O u g a ritiq u e s ," S yria 37 ( 1 9 6 0 ):7 5 -9 3 ; Conrad L'Heureux, "The
Ligaritic and B i b l i c a l Rephaim," RTR 67 (1 9 7 4 ):2 6 5 —74. The word has
been i n t e r p r e t e d by the LXX as ■<' . v . t h e Vulg in the same way
(g ig a n te s ); the Pesh renders heroes. The term
occurs in two Phoenician c o f f i n in s c r ip tio n s in a context s im ila r
to th is one o f Isa 14 and a llu d e s to the in h a b it a n t s o f the under­
world. Cf. H. Donner and W. R o l l i g , Kanaanaische und Aramaische
In s c h rifte n I I (Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassow itz, 1 96 4 ), pp. 19-20;
Hartmut Gese, Die Reliqionen A l t s y r ie n s , RM 10:2 ( S t u t t g a r t : W.
Kohl hammer, 1 9 7 0 ), pp. 9 0 -9 8 .
Q
The word T i n y means "ram" or " h e -g o a t," but i t is
commonly used m e ta p h o r ic a lly as 'l e a d e r '. Cf. Zech 10:3. LXX has
:C •=-; the V ulg, omnes p rin c ip e s t e r r a e ; and the
Pesh, rCLi-irC'.l iriiXAz. w^Clcnla.- .

^See n. 5 on p. 164.

^The Pesh attaches a 1 ! ] d i r e c t l y to vs. 10.

^The f i r s t colon is too s hort, and th e re is probably a gap.


See p. 152 f o r discussion o f the m atter.

4G. R. D riv e r ( " I s a i a h 1-39: Textual and L in g u is tic Problems,


JSS 13 [1 9 6 8 ]: 43) does not want to derive n y n from n ? n "being
sick, weak," but from L ig a r itic h l y , "was a lo n e"'an d Arabic h a la ,
"was vacant, disengaged." WiIdFerger (p. 534) c r i t i c i z e s him
saying th a t "die t r a d i t i o n e l l e Auffassung einen guten Sinn e r g i b t . "
Cf. I . E i t a n , "A C o n trib u tio n to Isaiah Exegesis," HUCA 12-13
(1 9 3 7 -3 8 ):6 2 . A. B. E h r lic h ( Randqlossen zu r Hebraischen B i b e l ,
7 vols. [ L e i p z i g : J. C. H in r ic h s , 1912], 4 :5 5 ) thinks n ^ >> II is
unsuitable to the context and suggests to emend i t to n 1 i ij)
The LXX has "been ta k e n "; the Vulg, v ulnera tus "wounded";
the Pesh has <keni*i>K' &urc’ Arc', "have you also been made weak?"
and 0. Kaiser (p. 28) agrees with th is version in having the
phrase as an i n t e r r o g a t i o n .

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1 2 3
Vs. 1 1 . Your pomp is brought down to S h eo l, the sound
4 5
o f your harps maggots are spread out beneath you and worms are

your c o v e r l e t . " * ’

Vs. 1 2 .
How are you f a l l e n from heaven, 0 shining o n e /
Q
son o f the dawn! (How) you are cut down to the e a r t h , you who
g
l a i d the n a tio n s low.

V h e Vulg tr a n s la te s ' l i X i as superbia t u a ; and the LXX


has " JO'J.

^A. Sperber ( H i s t o r ic a l Grammar, p. 646) thin k s th a t since


is p a r a l l e l to r n o i l . the word should be read ] i X'2 and the
colon tr a n s la t e d as "the uproar o f the pomp is brought down." The
suggestion i s a t t r a c t i v e , but 7 7 Kt? does not f i t in the context,
and the versions support the MT.

"In s te a d o f T 1! 1 1QISa reads "your corpse," what


is follow ed by the Vulg Cadaver Tuum.

-> n n sometimes means 7 i 3 n , "Pomp." J. Carmignac ( c f .


W ild b e rg e r, p. 534) thinks he can read in 1QISa m o n ( c f . let-jut:;
in Theod and in the Pesh), and tr a n s la te s "dans) la mort ton cadavre
. . .," but W ildberger r i g h t l y observes t h a t "corpse" is no p a ra lle l
to 7 1 X 3 . The LXX has 7 -to.Uh -rj^oocuvn jo-j, "your great m ir t h ."

^ V ^ T (M T ) , Hoph. Duhm (p. 119) suggests V 2 ± (noun-Ab.); c f .


Jahnow, p. 239. Marti (p. 124) reads V 3 if 7 (n o u n -C s .). Cf. BHS.

^For 7 1 D 3 Q , lQISa reads ' D J 3 . The LXX has w 'l o t iw .''-.-


io u ; and the Vulg operimentum, "c ove ring."

^There is doubt concerning the v o c a l i z a t io n o f l.


Kohler (KBL, p. 231) and others ( c f . G r e l o t , VT 6 [1 9 5 6 ]:3 0 3 ) r e l a t e
the term to the Arabic hi l a ! ( o r h i l a l u n ) , "new moon," v o c a liz in g i t
as 7 7 ' 1 n ( c f . BHS). G relo t (VT, p. 303; idem, " I s a i e 1 4 :1 2 -1 5 ,"
pp. 2 2-24 ; a ls o McKay, “H e l e l , " p. 452). on the o th e r hand thinks the
term is d e riv e d from the root 7 n, " s h in in g ," from the Akk a d j e c t i v e
e l l u ( h a l i l u > e l i l u > e l l u ) , " s h i n y . ” The LXX has tra n s la te d
by T -ijjaaooos, "b rin g e r o f the morning l i g h t , morning s t a r ." The
V u lg , as i t is well known, renders L u c ife r " l i g h t - b e a r i n g ” or "the
morning s t a r . " A quila has 5a .\u ^j v , "crying a lo u d ."
Q
C f. Budde (acc. Gunkel, Schopfunq und Chaos, p. 132); Cheyne,
The Prophecies o f I s a i a h , p. 90; M a r t i , p. 124; S ta e rk , pp. 144, 227;
Lohmann, pp. 9 , 20; Duhm, p. 119; BHS; 0. K a is e r, p. 28; W ildberger,
p. 535; e t c .

9' i 7 n has been in te r p r e t e d in two ways. (1 ) In the t r a n s i t i v e


sense "make weak, conquer," which follow s the sense o f the verb used
in Exod 17:13 and Joel 4 :10; c f . W ildberger, p. 535; Barth, Die

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171

Vs. 13. You said in your h e a r t j "I w ill ascend to heaven;


2
above the stars o f God; I w ill set my throne on high, I w ill s i t on
3 4
the mount o f assembly in the recesses o f the north.

J es a ja -W o rte , p. 121; e t c . (1 ) in the t r a n s i t i v e sense, "w e ak lin g ,"


as used in Job 14:10; c f . Gunkel, Schopfung und Chaos, p. 132; G.
Gray, p. 256; McKay, p. 453; M a r t i , pp. 124-27. To accept the tr a n s ­
i t i v e meaning we have to admit the emendation o f - 7>y ("among") to
( " a l l " ) agreeing w ith the LXX (o i-toot-fAA jv u o ; iJ-jt:t - i -i-jvn)..
Gunkel understands 2 > n as i n t r a n s i t i v e " l i e g s t s t a r r auf Leichen,"
changing a n 3 in to n i ■> i 3. C f. Guillaume ("The use of 'W n in
. . . Isa 14:12 . . . ," JTS 14 [ 1 9 6 3 ] :9 1 ). McKay (p. 453, n. 4)
is r i g h t in observing th a t the tr a n s it iv e n e s s or i n tr a n s it iv e n e s s
o f the verb in t h i s passage depends on the subject o f '7 7 1 rt ; i f i t
r e fe r s to the king of Babylon, i t would be t r a n s i t i v e "to be weak,"
i f to H e l e l , then "weakling" in an i n t r a n s i t i v e sense would be
d e s ir a b le . Having in view McKay's arguments, he has reasons to
b e lie v e the l a t t e r should be c o r r e c t . (See pp. 4 5 3 -5 4 ). I . E itan
(pp. 6 2 - 6 3 ) , proposes t h a t D 11 l 3 7 0 0 i n ( w ith the LXX;
[Erlandsson (p. 35) thinks the LXX's t r a n s l a t o r had n7> "J in mind])
"0 reaper o f a l l n a tio n s !" forms a “picturesque a n t i t h e s i s to the
immediately preceding n y n 3 “ (How) a r t thou cut down to
the ground," and is a sound i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f the meaning o f the
te x t. The Vulg renders s?7n as vulnerabas.

V o r 3 3 7> the LXX has -:v rfj 5uavoCqt, "mind."

"U. Cassuto ( The Goddess Anath, p. 57) i n t e r p r e t s 7 « in


t h is passage as the proper name of the Canaanite god E l. But, as
says W ildberger (p . 5 35 ), since the poem in the c u rren t c o ntext is
understood as a testimony o f b e l i e f in Yahweh, 7> « is l i k e 1 i 1 > 7
Yanweh (v s . 1 4 ). Pope (□ _ , p. 13, n. 79) views as an
e q u iv a le n t o f a s u p e r la tiv e "the highest s ta rs " (see f o r t h a t , 0.
Winton Thomas, "A Consideration of Some Unusual Ways o f Expressing
the S u p e rla tiv e in Hebrew," VT 3 [ 1 9 5 3 ] : 2 0 9 - 2 4 ) , but Dahood
("Punic hkkbm J1 and Isa 1 4 : 1 3 ," Or 34 [1 9 6 5 ]:1 7 0 - 7 2 ) r i g h t l y r e f e r s
to the close connection between God (7>k ) and the s ta r s ; see i . e . ,
Job 2 2 :1 2 -1 4 ; Ps 147:4; Isa 4 0:26.

^ T y i a must be, according to the c o n te x t, "assembly o f


gods"; the Vulg renders in Monte Testam enti; the LXX the r e p e t it io u s
tra n s la tio n : i-j ocei. jibnAi, i i C ~a 3on t4 juinAa iooodv. See
above, pp. 9 2 -9 3 , and below, p. 190, f o r more commentary on the
meaning o f the word; c f . a lso W ild b e rg er, p. 535.
4
1 3 3 ' i ', n3~i^ as an expression occurs in Ezek 3 8 :6 , 15,
3 9 :2 ; and Ps 4 8 :3 , where i t is associated w ith Zion. Luther ( Le ct.
on I s a i a h , p. 141) believed t h a t the expression r e fe r r e d to the north
side o f the Tempie-Mountain. See above, pp. 9 3 -9 4 , and pp. 199-202,
below, f o r more commentary on the expression.

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172

Vs. 14. I w i l l ascend above the heights o f the c lo u d s J I


2
w i l l make myself l i k e the most High.

Vs. 15. But you are brought down to Sheol , to the recesses

o f the p i t . ^
4
Vs. 16. Those who see you w i l l s tare a t you, and ponder
5 5
over you. "Is th is the man who shook the e a rth and made ki ngdoms

trem ble,

Ginsberg ( The Book of I s a i a h , p. 44) has “mount the back


o f a c lo u d ." The c o n s tru c t form 1 a o a occurs several times in the
OT p o e tic t e x ts : Job 9 : 8 ; Amos A ^ T l s a 1 4 :1 4 , e t c . As 1QISa
shows I ' 1 n o n ) the form seems to d erive from n n ‘2 and not n o n
(see KBL, p. 132).
2
— mos t used in e x i l i c tim es; and used a ls o , accord­
ing to Philo of Byblus, among the Phoenicians. See Cheyne, The
O rig in o f the P s a l t e r , p. 84.

^"Recesses o f the p i t ( 1 7 2)" c o ntrasts with “Recesses o f


the north ( 1 1 3 ' 3 ) , “ vs. 13. The LXX i n t e r p r e t s i i : * ' 1 W ' . ' - n
by 7a -leuix La yhs, which hurts the p a r a l l e l between the synonyms
Sheol and the grave. ( C f . Ps 8 8 : 4 - 6 ; Ezek 2 6 : 2 0 ). Thus T n is the
designation o f the realm o f the dead, or the graves (see Gunkel,
Schopfunq und Chaos, pp. 1 32-33, n. 8; Kraus, 1 :2 30 , 608-09;
KBL, pp. 114-15; TWATI, p. 5 03). The expression T ) 2 ” '’ n 3 " i''
occurs, besides Isa 1 4 :1 5 , also in Ezek 3 2 :2 3 , and according to
H. 3 a rth (pp. 121-22) shows a graduation in s id e the realm o f the
dead, and means the "aussersten (e n tle g en ste n ) Bereich der T o te n w e lt,"
“die ausserst T ie fe der U n te r w e lt." On Sheol and grave, see F r ie d ric h
Notscher, A 1 to rie n ta l is c h e r und a lt t e s t a m e n t l i c h e r Auferstehunqsqlauben
(Darmstadt"! W issenschaftliche Buchgesel 1 s c h a f t , 1926 [1970J ) , pp.
209-12.

S a p p e a r s o n ly three times in the 0T (Ps 33:14; Cant


2 :9 ; Isa 1 4 :1 6 ), always in the Hi phi 1, and means "to gaze a t , " a
c r i t i c a l te s tin g look i n t o something. Cf. W ildberger, p. 535. The
LXX has tauudccucl j, “wonder"; the Vulg renders i t in c lin a b u n tu r
which, as Erlandsson (p . 36) says, must be associated with T ~ z f.
The Pesh tr a n s la te s i t ^ , "they w i l l gaze."

S x i "to give heed to something."

^ t ■■ 3 2, "causing to shake," is synonym to the fo llo w in g


verb '7 ', 7 ~ D , and th e r e fo r e a f i t t i n g p a r a l l e l .

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173

Vs. 17. Who made1 the world l i k e a d e se rt and overthrew


2
(its ) c itie s , who his c a p tiv e s , a l l the kings o f the n a tio n s ,

would not l e t go home?"^


4
Vs. 18. Yet they a l l are in s t a t e , each in h is own tomb,

^ h e LXX a ssociates 0 2? w ith o ' 1©, "to make," but the Pesh
renders i t = ’- u - ^ , "and he devasted," a s s o c ia tin g w ith c a a .
2
I t seems t h a t because o f which is fem inine, we should
read w ith Syriac m i y i instead o f ' 1 '1 "1V i ( c f . Duhm, p. 120; M a r t i ,
p. 125; Lohmann, Die anonymen P ro p h e tien , p. 20", Ginsberg, JAOS
88 [1 9 6 8 ]:5 2 , No. 28; BHS; Dupont-Sommer, p. 74; E h rlic h 4 :5 6 ;
W ild b e rg er, p. 5 35 ). H. Barth (p. 22) says th a t no emendation should
be made, f o r the incongruence r a th e r e x p la in s i t s e l f by the character
o f the masculine as a "genus p o tiu s ."

^From th is verse t i l l vs. 21 there have been much discussion


concerning the s tr u c tu r e and meaning o f the t e x t ; several Unos of
emendations have been proposed in order to re s to re the qinah meter,
as w ell as to make the t e x t more i n t e l l i g i b l e . At t h i s p o in t we
make observations and t r y to understand what the MT in i t s e l f brings.
The major proposed emendations and s tr u c tu r e problems are discussed
on pp. 147-63. The versions have taken n m 3 n n D - «'? ( n m 3
as an o b je ct to n n s ) as meaning t h a t the oppressor did not allow
the prisoners to go f r e e (Vulg. [ non a p e r u it carc e rem ], LXX, P es h .).
But since the n m 3 o f the MT does not seem to f i t to t h i s according
to form and semantics ( c f . H. B arth, 1 2 2 ), BH^, Auvray (p . 1 60 ),
and Wildberger (pp. 532, 535) suggest th a t rr m 3 and the f i r s t word
in vs. 18 ^ 3 are s c r ib a l e rro rs f o r rt y 3 n n 1 ! . Erlandsson says
(p . 3 6 ) , th is view has no support in the versions and IQ ISa and is
h a rd ly possible. See H. Barth (p. 122) f o r a strong defense to keep
the MT w ithout any emendation. He contends th a t the p le o n a s tic form
o f expression ( c f . Erlandsson, p. 37) employed in vs. 18a is possible
in Hebrew w ithout problems. G. Gray (p . 249) does not t r a n s l a t e the
phrase, considering i t c o rru p t. 0. Kaiser (p . 2 9 ) , fo llo w in g Budde,
d e le te s n n ■» 3 and brings vs. 18b forward reading n n ' > 3 ’? m x ,
"each ( t o ) his home." Ginsberg ("R efle x es . . . ," p. 52, note 29)
says th a t the "MT is s u b s ta n tiv e ly i n s ip i d and l i n g u i s t i c a l l y sus­
p ic io u s ," and emends the expression to read r i m 3 n n 3 ’? ^ t p k ,
"who chained to his palace g a te ."

4m 3 means "grave" ( c f . Fohrer I , p. 190; Ginsberg, JAOS


88 [1 9 6 8 ]:5 2 , no. 30; Ps 49:12; Eccl 1 2 :5 ; Isa 22:16; KBL, on
m 3 section 2, p. 122; TWAT I , p. 6 3 5 -3 6 ), f o r th a t is demanded
by vs. 19a ( i n 3 ? n ) which is a n t i t h e t i c a l ( c f . H. B a rth , p. 122).

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174

1 2
Vs. 1 9 . But you are cast out from your tomb l i k e a loathed

untim ely b i r t h , 3 clothed with the s l a i n , w ith those pierced by the


4 5
sword, who go down to the stones o f the p i t , l i k e a corpse trampled

und e rfo o t.^

With H. Barth (p . 1 2 3 ), who presents an e la b o ra te d commentary


on vss. 1 9 -2 0 , and emphasizes t h a t a l t e r a t i o n s of the t e x t are unnec­
essary. As G. Gray (p. 259) says, the passage is " c l e a r l y speaking
not o f d is in t e r m e n t, but o f n o n -in te r m e n t" ; c f . Jahnow, p. 246;
Fohrer I , p. 190. Also E ic h ro d t, Der Herr . . . , p. 20; Ginsberg,
"Reflexes o f Sargon," p. 52; W ild b e rg e r, p. 535 ( 7 0 P r iv a tiv u m ).

^The LXX has ■-■> S osjlv ( D 1 i n n f o r T ^ i p a ) . bhk^


thinks i t was a d e t e r io r a t i o n from o ' 1 3 l i n n , but W ildberger
(p . 535) r i g h t l y says th a t th is is u n l i k e l y because □ ^ n ( i ) i n
follo w s immediately in the next l i n e and is there indispe ns ab le .
Passages such as Isa 5:25; 34:3; Ezek 3 2 :5 , which connect corpses
w ith mountains, must have influenced t h a t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . The
Vulg. has de Sepulchro Tuo and the Pesh v^t&a jza .

3i s 3 is u n c e rta in . The LXX has f o r n y n n n s n n the


fr e e t r a n s l a t i o n i s jcxoqs cSoc.v-jAue-.c;, "loathed carcase";
the Vulg. has " s t i r p s , " and the Pesh. , meaning "branch o f f ­
spring o f a f a m i l y . " On the o th e r hand, Symm. has c cv.touua
( 7 3 1 " A b o rtio n ," l i k e Aram. a n ' * ) . C f. Job 3:16.
Aq has C (io, "sap, blood." Many modern theologians see no
n e c e s s ity to emend the MT t e x t ( c f . F o h re r, 1:190; E ic h r o d t,
Herr . . . , p. 20; Erlandsson, p. 37; e t c . ) , but since F. Schwally
(" M is c e lle n [J e s . 1 4 : 1 9 - 2 1 ] ," ZAW 11 [ 1 8 9 1 ] : 2 5 7 - 5 8 ) , Sym's rendering
has been defended as the most acceptable one ( c f . Procksch, p. 199;
Dupont-Sommer, p. 75; F r ie d r ic h H o rs t, Hiob BKAT 16/1 [Neukirchen-
Vluyn: Neukirchener V e rla g , 1 9 6 8 ] : 5 0 ) . Among the reasons f o r
accepting t h i s view the scholars say t h a t : (1 ) i s i i s not sup­
ported by the versions; (2 ) > 3 3 is confirmed by Targ and Vulg;
(3 ) i t is in agreement w ith n v n i ( c f . Job 3:16; Ps 4 8 : 8 ; Eccl
6 : 3 ) ; and ( 4 ) i t f i t s the context in general ( c f . H. B a rth , p. 122;
see also W ildberger [pp. 535-36] who r e je c t s the t r a d i t i o n a l i s : and
a ffir m s th a t "nobody asks him self whether an o f f s p r i n g , detested or
n o t, should be b u rie d ; and also t h a t 3 y n 3 7 3 3 is a good p a r a l l e l
to o n a 1 3 3 3 in 19b). Some theologians ( c f . KBL on 1 3 3 ,
p. 640) proposed 1 3 3 but th a t seems an awkward suggestion ( c f .
W ild b e rg er, p. 5 36).

^Every OT theologian agrees t h a t vss. 19 and 20 are "packed


w ith d i f f i c u l t i e s " (H. B arth, p. 122) and have been exposed to many
attempts a t emendations. I t seems t h a t the te x t was d is turbe d in
some way; but since IQ Is 3 has the same t e x t as the MT, i f such sup­
posed disturbance occurred, i t happened before the second century
B.C. Since lQ Is a and the v e rs io n s , except the LXX, have the same
t e x t as the MT, we t r y , as much as p o s s ib le , to base our t r a n s la t i o n
on the Hebrew t e x t . But we would not deny th a t the attem pts (as f o r

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175

example by Dupont-Sommer) to make the poem one o f f i v e stanzas of


7 Qinah meter verses a r e , f o r several reasons, v ery a t t r a c t i v e .
Those reasons are presented and discussed elsewhere in th is chapter.
The LXX renders 2 i n a *> a - i n t n 3 7 by tcaa ;>.
rc-jvnaoTujv ixxexEvTnufvuju uaxoupaj, “w ith many dead who have been
pierced w ith swords." Despite adm itting m etaphorical uses of
3 3 7 ( c f . Job 7 :5 ; Ps 6 5 : 1 4 ) , G. Gray (pp. 259, 249) doubts the
t e x t is a t t h i s p o in t sound. E rlic h (p . 56) a f f i r m s th a t f o r
an'? we should read 2 3 7 3 , and th a t because o f what precedes the
p re p o s itio n is erroneously omitted ( c f . Esth 4 : 2 ; 8 : 1 5 ) . He adds,
“Ohne die P roposition konnte an'? h i e r nur P a rt pass, im s t .
co n str. s e in , und dazu passt a 1 a m n i c h t . " H. Barth (p. 123)
thinks a l t e r a t i o n s o f the t e x t (as f o r example Procksch, pp. 199-
200; E ic h ro d t, Herr . . . , p. 20; and Ginsberg ["R efle x es on
Sargon," p. 52, n. 32] who follows E r l i c h ) are unnecessary, fo r
a i n ' ? continues the n n V f f n o f the previous b icolon by a p a r t i ­
c i p l e , and i t juxtaposes the honorable b u r ia l o f the dead who is
buried in clothes a g ain s t the shameful b u r ia l o f the one who is
only "dressed w ith k i l l e d men."

5The LXX tr a n s la te s m ' ' 1 •> a m by - a T i a a u o ' j - ^


■zi ; 1 5au "going down to the grave"; Aq and Theod - : t u
upon the stones of the p i t , " the same happening to the Pesh:
< 3 ^ . Scholars ( c f . H. Barth, p. 123) have seend i f ­
f i c u l t i e s in t n i s expression in the f a c t t h a t i f m n is taken as
" p i t , grave" ( c f . Duhm, p. 121), i t would be awkward; and i f m
means, as u s u a lly , the "realm of the dead" (see above n. 7 , p. 1 6 5 ),
i t would De even more improbable.
Since Gunkel ( Schopfung und Chaos, pp. 132-33, n. 8; c f.
a lso M a r t i , p. 126; G. Gray, p. 260; Ginsberg ["R e fle x e s on Sargon],"
p. 52, n. 33; H. B arth, p. 123), i t has been suggested th a t instead
o f 1 n k i t should be read ^ i i x , "Foundation, base" ( c f . Job 3 8 : 6 ) ,
which could agree w ith Sym ieucAtods Xdxxo'j) and the Vulg ( ad
fundamenta l a c i ) , and which probably point to a reading
m n m i s i s ( c f . B. Kedar-Kopstein, "D iv erg e n t Hebrew Readings
in Jerome's Is a i a h ," Textus 4 [ 1 9 6 4 ]:1 8 7 ). This reading would
correspond to vs. 15 (~n 3 - 1 n n m 1) . W ildberger (p. 536) reacts
a g a in s t i t saying th a t t h i s suggestion h a rd ly h i t s the mark. He
f i rml y bel i eves th a t m i - 1 m s - 7 x ~ 7 i "> i s mi splaced and
belongs as the f i r s t colon o f the next l i n e o f the vs. Konig
( J e s a ja , p. 183, n. 4) believes th a t the expression is an i l l u s ­
t r a t i o n o f scorning the dead ones and connects i t w ith Josh 7 :2 6 ,
8 :2 9 b , 2 Sam 18:17. Erlandsson suggests t h a t i t could probably
r e f e r to a "s to n e -lin e d grave." A f t e r his re c o n s tru c tio n o f the
t e x t , H. Barth (p. 123) suggests t h a t the v erbal expressions
(v s . 19aa ) — ‘m u ’? (vs. 19as)— (v s . 19b) form three
stages and demonstrate the successive e n te r in g o f the "Lamented one"
in to the Sheol (to be thrown down— to l i e th e re in a shameful way
o f being b u r r ie d — to go down into the realm o f the dead); he also
suggests th a t the middle phrase or vs. 19a3 is w ithout comparison
and the o r i g i n a l t e x t could have a 3 before 3 3 n m v a b . (see

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175

Vs. 20. You w i l l not jo in them1 in b u r i a l , fo r you have

destroyed your land and k i.lle d your people. The o ffs p r in g o f the
2 3 4
e v ild o e r s w i l l never be named again.

also Ginsberg, Is a ia h , p. 45, f o r a d i f f e r e n t arrangement o f the


phrases o f vs. 19 and the com parative). I t seems th a t we should,
in view o f lQ Is a and some vers io n s , keep the MT t e x t as r e l i a b l e
in the discussed phrase.

^For 3 : ' : ' 3 3 3 the Vulg. has quasi cadaver putridum


and the Pesh. - - , "trodden down." The LXX renders tv --tc'-cv
. j-jouc 'jo-j (see Erlandsson, p. 38, fo r possible
reasons f o r LXX free i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f these two words as w ell as
f o r vs. 20 and the rendering o f other v e r s io n s ).

Whe LXX has a v e ry d i s t i n c t t r a n s l a t i o n f o r vss. 1 9 -2 0 ,


w hile the other versions tend more or less to agree with the MT.
Concerning to whom n n « , "them, with them," 3rd p i . r e f e r s , some
exegetes ( c f . Procksch, pp. 192, 200, e t c . ) th in k i t r e fe rs to the
e n t i t y mentioned in vs. 19 (some put 7 2 ~ ■* 3 2 K ~ P h* 1 ~r m ^ a t
the beginning of vs. 20a; see f o r th a t O illm ann, pp. 138-39; Cobb,
p. 23; Fohrer, J e s a ja , 1 :1 9 0 ; 0. Kaiser, p. 2 9 ) , but others (as f o r
example H. Barth, p. 124) say i t could not be because there i t
is only spoken about those who are equal to the "Lamented one"
(vss. 20a "You do not j o i n them," c f . M a r t i , p. 2 17 ). Ouhm (p . 1 22 ),
Marti (p . 1 27 ), and E ic h ro d t ( Per Herr . . . , p. 20) suggest the
a d d itio n o f f p r h n K , which is a mere c o n je c tu re . I t seems t h a t
j 1! ] 1 in vs. 18 helps us in the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n o f the
s u f f i x 3rd p i . masc. in vs. 20; the whole t e x t wants to say th a t
although they— the kings o f the nations and the lamented one— are
in the realm o f the dead, the l a t t e r ( i n c o n tra s t to the form er)
has not an honorable b u r i a l . (C f. H. B a rth , p. 1 2 4 .) W ildberger
thinks n - n n p n should be a gloss to e x p la in ~n 2

Some scholars— probably because o f the LXX's rendering


( a : c ; 'j a -svnpo'v) and Isa 1 :4 — have tended to render the p i . forms
□ and (v s s . 20b and 21a) in sin g, forms: y ' D and
3 H U X ( c f . Duhm, p. 123; M a r t i , p. 127; Procksch, p. 200; Dupont-
Sonmer, p. 77; Q u e ll, p. 155; 0. K a ise r, Is a ia h 1 3 -3 9 , p. 2 9 ) ; but
as H. Barth (p. 124) has observed, the LXX d i f f e r s so much from the
MT th a t we cannot s a f e l y r e l y on i t ; besides t h a t , W ildberger (pp.
22, 536) r i g h t l y points out th a t y ~i T does not mean " o f f ­
spring o f evildoe rs" but "generation th a t consists o f e v ild o e r s "
( c f . also G. Gray, p. 2 6 1 ).

^Dupont •Sommer ("Note e xegetique," p. 77) based on the LXX


wrr'ch has -til; tV ; aCjjva c.ccvcv (which could correspond to the Hebrew
t ; 1) suggests the a d d itio n o f y y a f t e r n P i y P , which woud supply
us w ith the 3rd stress o f the colon th a t seems to be lacking in the MT.

^The LXX renders by t l u- u c v ^ ; , ancj Erlandsson


(p. 38) thinks i t depended on the e a s ie r reading probably

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177

Vs. 21. Prepare the slaughter^ f o r his sons because o f the


2 3
g u ilt of th e ir fa th e rs , th a t
they r i s e not and possess the earth
4
and f i l l the face o f the world (w ith c i t i e s ) .

because o f "an a t t r a c t i o n from i D p i in vs. 21. The Vulg. has


“V o c a b itu r. " D r i v e r ( Jss 13 [ 1968] : 44) thinks of s i p ' 1 as a v a ri­
a n t o f n~ip'> and tr a n s la t e s "the brood o f e v il-d o e r s s h a ll no more
appear" ( c f . W ild b e rg e r, p. 536, who says i t does not make b e tte r
s e n s e ).

' n a a a (Hap. Leg.) could mean the slaughtering o f animals,


or the place o f s la u g h te r.
2
As mentioned above (see n. 2, p. 165), the LXX has
lotToo's jou (a u x iu ) (according to the recension of the Hexapla:
s jx iiv ). Dahood ( Bib 44 [1 9 6 3 ]:2 9 1 ; 70) understands m n K as
p l u r a le e x c e l ! e n t i a e . Rinaldi ( BeO 10 [ 1 9 6 8 ]:2 4 ; c f . also W ildberger,
p. 536) suggests t h a t n 7 3 x 7 l V is a fix e d term: " g u i l t o f the-
fa th e rs ." I t seems th a t the MT t e x t should be maintained.

^ 7 3 ( f o r 7 x or 7 .? ; c f . Dillm ann, p. 139) seems ( c f . G.


Gray, p. 261) "to have the force so th a t . . . not . . . ; and is
confined to l a t e r l i t e r a t u r e . "

4m nV " c i t i e s " is tr a n s la te d — aeuujv "war" by the LXX


(fo llo w e d by the Pesh. which has ) , which B. Gray (p . 261)
thinks was a probable e r r o r f o r ( c f . A q., Theod., Sym. , e t c . ;
Henry S. Gehman, "Some types o f Errors o f Transmission in the LXX,"
VT 3 [1 9 5 3 ] : 3 9 9 ) , or toacu Lujv = 3 1 ~iy , from the Aram sense o f enemy
iDan 4 : 1 6 ) . Since the beginning o f the nineteenth century (because
the presence o f the term would a p p a re n tly be a c o n tra d ic tio n to vs.
17) emendations have been proposed f o r the term: H i t z i g ( r e f . by G.
Gray, p. 261) suggested 3 ■> ? y , " r u in s , rubble" ( c f . BHK^; Vanderburgh,
p. 1 14). Ewald (p . 160) proposed " t y r a n t s ," as in 13:11
(see also 29:20; J e r 2 0 : 1 1 ). Dillmann (pp. 138-39) suggested
3 ■> ^ i n n r r , "wasted c i t i e s . " Cobb (pp. 23-24) ends the vs. with
7 3 3 ■> 2 3 aha begins vs. 22 with a s u b s t itu te f o r 3 ' 1~ iy , namely,
1 V s ( Hi phi 1 o f i -l V ) . T. K. Cheyne, "Recent Study o f I s a i a h , " JBL
16 (1 8 9 7 ):1 3 2 -3 3 , c r i t i c i z e s Cobb's suggestion and proposes "to
enclose the whole word-group Q 1 1 7 7 a n * 1 3 3 7 K 7 3 T w ith in marks
o f i n t e r r o g a t i o n ." He thinks th a t we cannot even be sure the 7 K 7 3
i s c o r r e c t , since i t is not a good p a r a l l e l to 7 7 ~ i'1. One o f the
most common suggestions has been 3 ■> ~i if ( c f . Dillmann, p. 139; Duhm,
p. 122; H. B a rth , pp. 124-25, who th in k s th a t d ^ i l f in the sense o f
"oppressor" provides an e x c e lle n t p a r a l l e l to 3 ' , V ~ '.n o f vs. 20 and
3 ’’ y i n o f vs. 5) as anAramaism. Confusion o f and V occurs often
in the te x tu a l t r a d i t i o n o f the OT ( c f . F. D e lit z s c h , Die Lese und
S c h re ib fe h le r im A !ten Testament [ B e r l i n : W. de G riiy te r, 1920] §
108 a , b . ). The u n c e r t a in ty o f knowing f o r sure i f 3 1 i y is the
o r i g i n a l word o f the t e x t has caused scholars to t r a n s la t e the l a s t
phrase o f vs. 21 both p o s i t i v e l y — " th a t the e a rth may be f i l l e d with

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178

H i s t o r i c a l Context

Authorship and date o f


Composition

At the end o f the eig h te en th century E. F. Rosenmiiller^

s ta rted the view th a t the o ra c le in Isa 14— cn the basis o f the

mention o f Babylon— did not come from Isaiah o f Jerusalem but has

to do w ith the events r e la te d to the f a l l o f Babylon in the middle

o f the s ix th century B.C. Since then many scholars have advocated


2 3
th a t view and proposed Nabuchadnezzar and Nabonidus0 as possible

fig u re s concerning whom the poem was pronounced. There are others
4
who assign the passage to the times o f Oarius o r Xerxes, or even

c i t i e s ” ( c f . D illm ann, p. 139; Ginsberg, " R e f l e x e s , ” p. 52 and n. 37)


— and n e g a t iv e ly ” . . . and th a t they do not f i l l the earth with
c i t i e s " ( c f . Erlandsson, p. 17; W ildberger, pp. 533, 5 36). Kissane
(pp. 170, 174) has suggested the j o i n in g o f the word to what
follow s and emends i t to read: o n x or n g n " ( I w ill in te r­
vene) and r i s e up a gains t them." A very i n t e r e s t i n g and q u ite
ingenious suggestion, proposed by Dupont-Sommer (pp. 78-79) would
emend o ' , ~iy to read ' • a n y (= or ’’ p t y ) "naked, unclothed,"
and detach the word from the end o f ' v s . 21," p la c in g i t a t the begin­
ning o f 19b: 0 '| 2 ~in i n ) ', o~iy. Although t h i s proposition has,
as the author says, i t s f a i r reasons (a more acceptable sense, and
a r e s t o r a tio n o f the poem's m e tr ic ) and a very a t t r a c t i v e explanatory
suggestion o f how the t e x t was d is tu rb e d (see p. 8 0 ) , i t c o n s titu te s
a mere s uppos ition . Since the MT t e x t is supported by lQ Is a and by
the Greek v e rs io n s , and since the LXX is very f r e e in t r a n s la t i n g
th is p a r t o f the poem, we have to admit th a t i f i t is not o r ig in a l
with the t e x t (a reasonable p o s s i b i l i t y since i t s presence disturbs
the sense and m e tric o f the t e x t ) , i t was in s e rte d very e a r ly in
the h i s t o r y o f the B i b l i c a l t e x t .

^E. F. Rosenmiiller, S cholia in Vetus Testamentum Sectio


III (L ip s ia e : J. A. B arth, 1 7 9 1 -9 3 ), 1 -3 .
o
Frans D e lit z s c h , p. 314; 0. C. Whitehouse, Isa ia h 1-39
NCB (New York: Oxford U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1 9 0 5 ), pp. 93-94 ; Procksch,
J e s a ia , p. 194; W ildberger, pp. 541-42.

^ I.e ., Duhm, p. 117; M a r t i , Das Buch Jes a .ja , KHC 10


(Tubingen: J. C. B. Mohr [Paul S ieb e c k], 1 9 0 0 ), p. 128; E. Konig,
pp. 185-86; S. H. Langdon, "The S ta r H e !e l, J u p i t e r , " Exp Tim 42
(1 9 3 0 /3 1 ) : 1 7 4 ; e tc .

4I . e . , Morgenstern, "Mythological Background," p. 110.

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179

to th a t o f Alexander the G r e a tJ

On the oth e r side we have had scholars s u b s t a n t i a l l y

defending the t r a d i t i o n a l view th a t the passage has to do w ith the


2
Assyrian em pire’ s events, and id e n t i f y in g the t y r a n t w ith Sargon I I

or Sennacherib 3 in the time o f Is a ia h o f Jerusalem. We also find


4
some who even th in k of A s s u r u b a l l i t . S ta rtin g a t the end o f the

n ine te enth c e n tu ry , some scholars strongly defended the end o f the

eighth century B.C. as the date f o r the composition o f Isa 13-14.

Cobb in his a r t i c l e on the ode o f chap. 14, in which he contends

i t could not apply to the neo-Babylonian empire, concludes his

remarks saying th a t "the h i s t o r i c a l and r e lig io u s re fe re n c e s point

to I s a i a h 's time more d i s t i n c t l y than any o th e r ," "the language

and s t y l e give c onfirm atory testimony of the most i n t r i c a t e and

convincing n a tu re " ; and "the l i t e r a r y character o f the whole piece

is so e le v a te d and powerful as to harmonize w ith the known w r itin g s


5 6
of I s a i a h . " In another fir m defense of th is view, Ginsberg says,

C. C. T o rre y , "Alexander the Great in the Old Testament


P rophecies," in Vom A!ten Testament Karl Marti zum S iebziqs te n
Geburtstaqe Gewidmet, BZAW 47 (Giessen: A. Topelmann, 1 9 2 5 ), p . 286.
2
I . e . , W in c k le r, p. 193; 3. A l f r i n k , "Der versammlungsberg im
Ausserten Norden ( I s a 1 4 ) ," Bib 14 (1 9 3 3 ):6 7 ; N. K. G ottw a ld , A ll The
Kingdoms o f the Earth (New York: Harper 4 Row, 1 9 6 4 ), pp. 175—76;
Ginsberg, "Reflexes on Sargon," pp. 49-53; H e rb e rt, p. 102; e tc .
3
I . e . , Cobb, pp. 26-28; W. S taerk, Das assyrische W e ltre ic h
im U r t e i l der Propheten (G ottingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, 1 908),
pp. 144 -4 7 , 226-27; Vandenburgh, p. 120; S. S c h i f f e r , ”Un Chant de
triomphe meconnu sur la mort de Sanherib," REJ 76 ( 1 9 2 2 ):1 7 6 ; E ic h ro d t,
Der Herr der Geschichte, p. 29; Erlandsson, pp. 8 6 - 9 1 , 164; e tc . Among
the scholars who have wavered between Sargon and Sennacherib are
A. Jerem ias, pp. 526, 601; Kissane, 1:166.

4 I . e . , P. Rost, "J e s a ja ," pp. 173-75; see Erlandsson, pp.


111-13, f o r a survey o f several scholars and t h e i r views on the
m a tte r. Cf. also 0. K a ise r, Isa ia h 1 -3 9 , p. 30, n. b.

^P. 35. ^"Reflexes o f Sargon," p. 52.

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180

a f t e r presenting his points : "The Poem (vss. 4-2 1) f i t s the unique

event o f the year 705 B.C. as adm irably as was claimed above, is

l i t e r a l l y as worthy o f Is a ia h (and Isaiah a? uniquely worthy of i t )

as was claimed above. . . . " In his already c it e d monograph,

The Burden o f Babylon, Erlandsson, a f t e r a d e ta ile d study of the

language, motives, and h i s t o r i c a l context of Isa 1 3-14 , a r r iv e s a t

the conclusion th a t

The l i n g u i s t i c and them atic content lin k s i t (1 3 : 2 - 1 4 : 2 3 ) c lo s e ly


w ith g e n e ra lly accepted a u th e n tic portions of Is a ia h and the
h i s t o r i c a l circumstances which form both the background and the
cause o f t h i s account had occurred by 701 B.C. He have found
th a t . . . the 7 3 3 has both i t s l i n g u i s t i c and h i s t o r i c a l
context in the accounts o f the prophet Isaiah on the occasion
of the Asryrian occupation . " 1

We have to agree w ith the l a s t three authors c it e d in t h e i r

strong defense o f the t r a d i t i o n a l view, which advocates th a t the pas­

sage has, in many aspects, to do w ith events o f the end o f the e ig h th

century and comes from the hand o f Isaiah of Jerusalem. Vandenburgh,

based on the f a c t th a t chap. 13 is an oracle on the f a l l o f 3abylon—

which seems to have been w r i t t e n s h o r tly before the f a l l o f th a t g re at

empire by the bands o f the "Medes" (denoting the Persian Em pire), and

the d i ffe r e n c e in the l i t e r a r y s t y l e between those two s e c tio n s --

advocates t h a t "the oracle (chap. 13) and the poem (chap. 14) were

products o f d i f f e r e n t periods" as w ell o f " d i f f e r e n t l y c o n s titu te d

minds." In his view, "when the book o f Isaiah was completed, th is

ready-made song was in s e r te d , most l i k e l y applying to Nabonidus. . . .'

In p o s t - e x i l i c times "the ode was w r i t t e n f o r the purpose of

in s p ir in g the I s r a e l i t e s w ith hope f o r d e liv e ran c e from a dominion

^P. 166. See also H. Barth (pp. 135-40) f o r discussion and


support f o r the e ig h th -c e n tu ry view.

2 Pp. 114, 116.

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181

1 2
o f which Sennacherib was an a n te ty p e ." Q uell a ffir m s th a t the

marginal words o f vss. l - 4 a and vss. 22-23— which are poor and

without o r i e n t a t i o n — show th a t the poem (v s s . 4 b -21) was, through

a v io le n t process o f r e d a c tio n , incorporated in to a prophecy, and

th a t Isaiah has nothing to do with the poem— which has nothing to

do with God but w ith gods, i t s o r ig in being pagan and f u l l o f mythic


3 4 5
m a te ria l. A lb rig h t, Kapelrud, and Childs b e lie v e 14:12-15 was

gotten from a Canaanite Epic. As says Heaton, the m a te ria l (Is a ia n )

is complex, and sometimes a passage must “from one p o in t of view, be

distinguished from i t s c o n te x t, y e t from a n other p o in t o f view i t must

be considered very c a r e f u l l y in r e la t i o n to t h a t same context.

Although the prologue (vss. l - 4 o ) and the ep ilo g u e (vss. 22-23) and

che use of the term “3abylon" seem to i n d i c a t e th a t the prophecy was

re -applied in the s ix t h - c e n t u r y e x i l i c c o n te x t we should not fo r g e t

th a t the prophet could have been shown the whole s it u a t io n long before

the events occurred. Besides t h a t , the use o f the term "Babylon" ( " ? : : )

does not demand th a t i t was incorporated in the t e x t in the s ix th

century B .C ., since the term was used by the end o f the eighth

century (2 Kgs 2 0 : 1 2 - 1 9 ) , and Sargon h im s e lf took the throne o f

Babylon and was king o f both Assyria and Babylon . 7 I t could have
g
been used also by the prophet w ith a d i f f e r e n t connotation.

] Pp. 120-21. 2 Pp. 1 3 1 -3 2 , 155-57.

2 " 8 ook Reviews," p. 155. 4 Baal_, p. 56, n. 4.

^Hyth and R e a l i t y , pp. 59-70. C h ild s argues th a t the myth


is placed in a framework in which i t is "th o ro u g h ly dem ythologized."

6 Pp. 139-40. 7 C f. ANET3 , p. 584.


g
See above, pp. 164-66.

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182

Summarizing, we can say th a t although there is a very probable

chance th a t the author used a poem which was ready-made when he wrote

the o r a c le , i t seems th a t the immediate context ( 1 4 :2 4 -2 7 ) as well as

a l a r g e r one in the Is a ia h book (as f o r example 1 0 : 5 - 1 5 ) show that

the "Burden o f Babylon" should be dated as from the end o f the eighth

century B . C . J and, consequently, t h a t the author o f the o r a c le , as

we have i t now, must have been Is a ia h o f Jerusalem.

H is to ric a l I d e n t i f i c a t i o n o f the Tyrant

I t seems l e g it im a t e to say th a t most o f the B ib le prophet's

oracles were r e la te d to immediate h i s t o r i c a l events— even in the

case o f those passages which i n t e r p r e t e r s have considered as having

Messianic connotation or esc ha tologica l a p p l ic a t i o n , in many cases

the prophetic message came or was pronounced having contemporary— or


2
near f u t u r e — events or h i s t o r i c a l s it u a t i o n s in view. In the case

o f the Is a ia n ic passage under discussion one whould look f o r some

r e la t i o n to immediate h i s t o r i c a l events.

In 1896 Cobb examined the c h a r a c t e r is t i c s o f the fig u r e

o f Isa 1 4 :4 b -2 2 , such as "oppressive ty ra n n y ," "world r u l e r s h i p , "

"famous f o r pomp and p r i d e ," and h is in g lo rio u s end"; r e je c te d the

idea t h a t the passage re fe rre d to a g eneric king; and advocated

th a t "a t a l l events the t r a i t s described must c h a r a c te r iz e i n d i -


4
vid u als before they can be predicated o f a c la s s ."

^ i s s a n e ( I s a i a h , 1:168; c f . a lso p. 155) has considered the


p o s s i b i l i t y th a t an Isa ia h prophecy on Assyria could have been con­
verted in to one to Babylon in the e x i l e period. Concerning to which
Assyrian king the passage r e f e r s , see below pp. 183-87.
p
C f. W ild b e rg er, p. 542; a lso J. Barton Payne, Encyclopedia
o f B i b l i c a l Prophecy (New York: Harper and Row, 1 9 7 3 ), pp. 137-40.

3 Pp. 25-35. V 26.

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183

Before determ ining the time o f the event and to whom i t

r e f e r s , the i n t e r p r e t e r is faced w ith the problem of deciding

whether the d e s c rip tio n is something which— having as basis the

time o f composition— has a lre a d y happened or is about to happenJ

We come back to t h i s below on pp. 211-16.

Indi-vidual a p p lic a tio n


2
Opposing Cheynes' views th a t the Isa ia n passage came from

e x i l i c tim e s, and fo llo w in g E. S trachy's and Hugo W in c k le r's sug­

gestion^ th a t Sennacherib's c h ara c te r would f i t the Isaian passage,

Cobb examines the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c expressions o f the passage, con­

tr a s t s them w ith the e x i l i c tw e n ty -e ig h th chap. of E z e k ie l, and

t r i e s to show th a t the d iffe r e n c e s in language, vocabulary, and

s t y le are s t r i k i n g . At the end he shows t h a t the vocabulary o f

Isa 1 4 :4 b - 22 is the common one used in the whole book o f Is a ia h .


4
This view has had a host o f proponents from the end o f the nin e ­

teenth century u n t i l today; but i t was Erlandsson who, through his

study on Isa 1 3 -1 4 , q u ite s o l i d l y showed ( l i n g u i s t i c a l l y and in the

Cf. Kissane ( The Book o f I s a i a h , 1:167) believes t h i s


passage is (as in 9 : 1 - 6 ) a past event only in the mind o f the
prophet; c f . also Duhm (p . 1 1 7 ), M arti (p . 1 2 3 ), and Lohmann ( Die
anonymen P ro p h e tie n , pp. 2 5-26 , 42) who see the passage as a
prophecy. Rost (" J e s a j a , " p. 1 7 5 ), on the o th e r hand, thinks th a t
due to the use o f the p e r f e c t , the song speaks about some accomplished
fa ll. C f. also Staerk ( Das assyrische W e l t r e ic h , p. 226) who says
t h a t “das Gedicht 14, 4 f f . nur aus dem Eindruck e in e r epochemachenden
g e sc h ic h tlic h e n P e r s o n lic h k e it v e rs ta n d lic h w ir d , darum auch n ic h t
Weissagung von Zukiinftigem, sondern nur Riickblick auf Vergangenes
sein kann."
2
I n t r o d u c t i o n , p. 75.

^See Cobb, p. 27. La te r on W inckler waived his view, making


Sargon the s ubjec t of the Ode.

^See above pp. 180-82; and Erlandsson pp. 112-13. Cf. also
S ta e rk , Das assyriche W e ltre ic h . . . , pp. 144-45, who views the
song as an echo o f the death o f Sennacherib in 681 B.C.

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184

m atter o f th e o lo g ic a l motives) t h a t the Isaian poem has conclusive

c h a r a c t e r is t i c s which place i t in the h i s t o r i c a l context o f the

end o f the e ig hth century B . c J He also contends t h a t i f the

passage should be applied to an h i s t o r i c a l monarch, Sennacherib

would be the one. In th is case the poem had been composed a f t e r

the monarch's death which s tim u la te d the imagination o f the poet.

In 1903 Winckler advocated the a p p lic a tio n o f the poem to

the events concerning Sargon's d e a th , and his view has been


2
followed by many a f t e r him. Besides the reasons o f l i n g u i s t i c

and th e o lo g ic a l motives, we would say th a t we do have some h i n t s —

although not too conclusive— which would support the view t h a t the

te x t is r e f e r r i n g to an Assyrian monarch from the l a s t years o f the

e ighth century (whether i t be Sargon or Sennacherib): the oppressor

s p i r i t depicted in vss. 14b, 16-18 and the n on-b urial o f the kin g's
3 4
body in vss. 19-20. Winckler and Orr stressed the p a r a l l e li s m

between Isa 14:18-19 and the f a c t th a t Sargon's body was ap p are n tly

abandoned in the b a t t l e f i e l d , and the reference in t a b l e t K4730

which reports t h a t Sargon "was not buried in his h o u s e . B e s i d e s

^The Burden o f Babylon, p. 166, e tc .


2
Cf. Ginsberg, "Reflexes o f Sargon," pp. 4 9 -52 . See also
Lohmann, Die anonymen P ro p h e tien , pp. 26-28.

^Die K e i li n s c h r if t e n und das A lte Testament, pp. 4 7-48 .


4.
Ref. by Ginsberg, "Reflexes of Sargon," p. 50.

^Cf. also H. Tadmor, "The Sin o f Sargon," in E retz Is r a e l


V (Jerusalem: Is r a e l E xploration S o c ie ty , 1958), p. 93. See G. B.
Gray, I s a i a h , p. 251, who r i g h t l y observes th a t
" 'n o t buried in his house' . . . does not n e c e s s a r ily imply th a t
he died a v i o l e n t death, and l a y unburied ( c f . vs. 1 9 ): more­
o v e r, Sargon c e r t a i n l y did not involve his country and people
in ru in (v s . 2 0 ) ; w ith in tw elve days o f his death his son
Sennacherib was recognized as kin g, and Assyria s u ffe re d no
serious check f o r h a lf a c entury a f t e r Sargon's d e a th ."

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185

t h a t , 2 Kgs 1 9 :2 1 -2 8 , where the f a l l of Sennacherib is prophesied,

makes us r e c a l l the Isaiah poem in many fe a tu r e s .

We cannot deny t h a t those who view the passage as re la te d

to the e x i l i c times^ (and th a t i t would be a p p lie d to Nebuchadnezzar


2 3
o r Nabonidus) have good p oints in the mention o f the name Babylon

in vss. 4 and 22 and the possible r e d a c to r's work in the in tro d u c tio n
4
(vss. l - 4 a ) and conclusion (vss. 22-23) o f the passage. In

a d d itio n , some c h a r a c t e r is t i c s would q u ite f i t the p e r s o n a lity o f

of the mentioned Neo-Babylonian r u l e r s , ^ unless one takes the

po s itio n t h a t vss. l - 4 a and 22-23 were produced by a d i f f e r e n t hand

and considers vss. 4 b -21 s e p a r a te ly .^ Vandenburgh has conjectured

th a t the Ode could have been w r itte n in p o s t - e x i l i c times

^ e e above pp. 1 7 8 -7 9 .
2
Although, as Jahnow observed (p. 2 4 2 ), Nabonidus did not
f a l l in b a t t l e , nor was he executed by Cyrus, but he was taken
priso ner and his f i n a l d e s t in y is not known w ith accuracy.

^Cobb (p. 31) contends in fa v o r o f the f a c t t h a t the Assyrian


r u le r s "re p e a te d ly c a l l (themselves) S a rri B a b i l i , " which would
e lim in a te p a r t o f the tension in t h i s passage. But Wildberger (pp.
541-42) points out th a t in I s a i a h 's tim e, the Babylonian kings were,
as f a r as they were able to show t h e i r s tr e n g th , a g a in s t Assyria
and in no way r e p r e s e n ta tiv e o f a power under which the whole world
had had to sigh. Due to the p o l i t i c a l s i t u a t i o n , i t seems improb­
able t h a t Is r a e l had a t t h a t time r e jo ic e d a t the end o f Babel.

4See 0. K a is e r, Is a ia h 1 3 -3 9 , pp. 2 9-31 .


C
See Vandenburgh (p . 1 2 0 ), who c it e s the “plundering of
fo re s ts f o r b u ild in g m a t e r i a l , the love f o r r e t r e a t and devotion in
the presence o f the gods and the subsequent i n j u r y to the nation
occasioned by such regal n e g le c t and by the imposing o f heavy
t r i b u t e on the people, as w e ll as the d i s l i k e in the nation f o r t h is
monarch (Nabonid). . . . " C f. Staerk ( Das a ss yrische W e lt r e ic h ,
p. 226) f o r strong argument ag ain s t Nabonidus. See also Jer 50-23—
where i t is almost c e r t a i n Nebuchadnezzar is meant— whose form and
content seems to be r e la t e d to Isa 1 4 :4 b -5.

6 H. Barth, p. 141.

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186

f o r the purpose o f in s p ir in g the I s r a e l i t e s w ith hope f o r


d e liv e ra n c e from a dominion o f which Sennacherib was an a n t i ­
type. The memory o f the reign o f Sennacherib, who had l e f t a
l a s t i n g impression both on P ale s tin e and Babylonia, was the
germ f o r the growth o f such a song, which was o rie n te d with
f i g u r a t i v e c h a r a c t e r is t i c s o f th a t conspicuous k in g , making o f
the song a pa rab le . . . - When the Book o f Is a ia h was completed,
th is ready-made song was in s e r te d , most l i k e l y as applying to
Nabonidus, a view which appears to be confirmed by the great
p r o b a b i l i t y t h a t the book of Isaiah could not have reached i t s
f i n a l form e a r l i e r than the second century B.C . 1

We disagree w ith Vandenburgh' s view as to the time when the poem was

w r itte n as w ell as the time the book of Is a ia h was completed; but

we admit t h a t in the time o f the e x i l e some a d d itio n by an e d ito r

could have been made in order to reapply the poem to a d i f f e r e n t

h is to ric a l s i t u a t i o n , even though no Neo-Babylonian monarch f i t s

the p ic tu r e t o t a l l y .

Summarizing, we may say th a t there is no reason to r e je c t

the view t h a t the poem (as we have i t today) came from the eighth

century B .C .— w r i t t e n by Isa ia h o f Jerusalem— and bearing some

r e la t io n s h ip to one of the two Assyrian monarchs mentioned. On the

other hand, an e x i l i c w r i t e r could have added the in tro d u c tio n and

the conclusion to the passage— or a t le a s t introduced the term

>33 in vss. 4a and 22 in to the t e x t — and re a p p lie d i t to a d i f f e r ­

ent h i s t o r i c a l s i t u a t i o n ; but again we cannot fin d a Neo-Babylonian

monarch who f i t s the d e s c rip tio n s in the poem, and the use o f the

term > 3 3 and the apparent e x i l i c standpoint o f the prologue and

epilogue are points which can be dismissed in fa v o r o f an e ig h th -

century date o f authorship. There a r e , however, problems in the

t e x t which m i l i t a t e against a d e f i n i t i v e i d e n t i f i c a t i o n o f the

] P. 120.

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h is to r ic a l fig u re . As H. Barth^ has observed, we fin d an

a lt e r n a tio n between sin gular and p l u r a l number in r e l a t i o n to


2
the ty r a n t of the passage. He advocates th a t t h i s lack of

harmony conveys signs o f e d i t i n g la y e rs in the t e x t which were

made in Is a i a h 's time (eighth c e n tu ry ) or be fore . I t seems almost

impossible th a t a w r i t e r could have produced a piece o f l i t e r a t u r e

o f the c a l i b e r o f th is Isaiah poem— a l i n g u i s t i c , p oetic master­

piece— in q u ite p e r fe c t qinah meter poetry (vss. 4 - 1 7 ) , using

previous m a t e r i a l , without s e t t i n g i t in an harmonious numerical

form. I f the w r i t e r had the c a p a c ity to introduce his e d i t o r i a l

additions in the already w r it t e n g r e a t e r part o f t h i s pentameter

piece, keeping the same high le v e l o f poetical expression and

m e trics , i t is u n l i k e l y th a t he would have f a i l e d in resolving the

disharmony in number. On the o th e r hand, i f th a t kind o f

v a ria tio n in number was d e s ire d , it is not required th a t we

a t t r i b u t e to the t e x t two or more la y e rs as f a r as the time o f

composition is concerned.

As f a r as vss. 12-15 are concerned, i t is very d i f f i c u l t

to apply them h i s t o r i c a l l y to any Assyrian or Neo-Babylonian r u l e r .

I t departs so much from any reasonable immediate h i s t o r i c a l s i t u ­

a tion th a t scholars have used a l l so rts of e xplanations (con­

s id e ra tio n o f which c o n s titu te s a g r e a t p a rt o f th is d i s s e r t a t i o n ) ,

but w ithout reasonable c e r t a i n t y .

1 P. 127.

2See vs. 5: and O "O 3 o ; vs. 20: f V ' t ; vs. 21


i m n K ; where the plu ra l number is present; and vs. 4b: 7 3 : ;
vs. 15: t n x n , e t c . , f o r the s in g u la r.

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188

C o lle c t iv e A p p lic atio n

As a lre a d y m entionedJ Cobb admitted th a t the passage uouid

in some sense r e f e r to a class instead o f an i n d i v i d u a l . Dillmann

a ffir m s "der Konig . . . a ls Zusammenfassung des Volks und der Macht

der B a b y lo n ie r." Lohmann, a f t e r e x t e n s iv e ly discussing the m atter

o f the subject o f the poem and the time o f i t s composition,^ a rriv e d

a t the conclusions th a t

das P o r t r a t e in e r P e r s o n !ic h k e it i s t in dem masal n ic h t gegeben.


Die s c h e in b a r in d iv id u e lle n Zuge verschwimmen bei genauerer
Betrachtung: A lle s i s t a llg e m e in , grosszugig gedacht. Von.
T y ra n n e i, W e lth e r r s c h a ft, B a u lu st, Prachtsucht, ijp p ig k e it horen
w ir : das i s t die Zeichnung der imponierenden Macht eines
W e ltre ic h e s , die in ihrem Herrscher g r e if b a r in d ie Erscheinung
tritt. Die personlicr.c Not-' kpmn+ n ic h t zur G eltung. Darum i s t
je d e r Versuch v e r g e b lic h , d ie einzelnen Zuge zum Gesamtbilde
eines bestimmten Herrschers zusammenzufugen; s ie sir-d zu dehnbar,
die P e rs o n lic h k e it i s t n ic h t fa s s b a r. Deshalb konnte man auch
a l l e moglichen assyrischen und chaldaischen Regenten zur Wahl
s te lle n . Auf jeden passt die ganz schablonenhafte Zeichnung . 4

G. B. Gray^ also thinks the w r i t e r "has not in view merely a single

in d iv id u a l." Other scholars adopted the same c o rp o ra tiv e view,^

and E i s s f e l d t recognizes t h a t the fu n e ra l dirges were a t an e a r ly

date applied in a " t r a n s fe r r e d sense to c o l l e c t i v e e n t i t i e s , " and

th a t " i t is c le a r th a t i t (th e poem) is d ire c te d a t one o f these two

world powers (Assyria and B abylon), represented by the person o f

t h e i r kin g, under which I s r a e l had so t e r r i b l y s u ffe r e d . . . .

^See above p. 182. ^P. 134.


3 4
Die anonymen P ro p h e tie n , pp. 26-42. Pp. 38-39.

5 I s a i a h , pp. 2 5 0 -5 1 ; 253, 261.

^Cf. P. Rost, " J e s a ja , Kap 1 4 :4 b -2 1 ," pp. 175-79; e tc .

^ In tr o d u c tio n , p. 97.

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189

1 2
But w hile there are laments over c i t i e s , i . e . , Ur and Jerusalem,

the Isaiah poem does not partake of the c o l l e c t i v e atmosphere which

is present in the laments over the mentioned c i t i e s . S till others

th in k l'ie lament d is p la y s t y p ic a l connotation and portrays a power

h o s t i l e to God. 3

As we see, th is passage is a very d i f f i c u l t one to i n t e r p r e t .

Scholars are f a r from a consensus with respect to the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n

o f the f i g u r e ( s ) the passage presents. Among the problems we face

in the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n o f the personage(s) of the passage a re:


4 5
1. Despite s c h o la rs 1— e s p e c ia lly Cob^s and E rla n d s s o n ^

— e f f o r t s to show th a t the content of the poem f i t s lin g u is tic a lly

i n to the context o f the whole account o f the prophet Isaiah on the

occasion o f the Assyrian occupation, we do not know f o r sure i f

Is a ia h used a ready-made poem to compose his o ra c le concerning

Babylon.®

2. There is no consensus among theologians concerning

whether the passage i s — from the standpoint o f the time o f i t s

^See S. N. Kramer, "Lamentation Over the D estruction o f Ur"


ANET. pp. 454-63.

See the Book o f Lamentations.

3See Procksch, Jesaia I , p. 201; E ic h ro d t, Der Herr der


G eschichte, p. 25; 0 . K a ise r, Isaiah 1 3 - 3 9 , pp. 2, 30, 31;
W ildberger, pp. 542-43.

4 Pp. 18-35.

®Burden o f Babylon, pp. 129-53, 160-66. See also Rachel


M a rg u lies , The I n d i v i s i b l e Isaiah (New York: Yeshiva U n i v e r s i t y ,
1 96 4 ), pp. 2 2-42, and in passim.

®Cf. W ildberger, p. 542. As long as there is no evidence


f o r a p ro to ty p e , the poem should be a t t r i b u t e d as an o r i g i n a l work
o f the prophet.

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190

composition— a prophecy or a d e s c rip tio n o f something which has

already happened.

3. Opinions are divided whether the poem, as i t appears in

the t e x t , o r ig in a t e d in the e ig h th century or s ix t h century B.C.

4. The a lt e r n a t i n g use o f s in g u la r and p lu ra l in r e l a t i o n

to the s u b jec t makes i t very d i f f i c u l t to determine whether the

personage is to be taken i n d i v i d u a l l y or c o l l e c t i v e l y .

5. To make the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n more c om plicated, the t h i r d

or c e n tra l stanza seems to go beyond the e a r t h l y realm and to be

speaking about a more-than-human f i g u r e .

P re lim in a ry Conclusions

In response to our research so f a r , we have a rriv e d a t the

follo w in g p r e lim in a r y conclusions:

1. We have in t h i s passage (Is a 1 4 : 4 b - 21) a masterpiece

o f Hebrew p o e try w r it t e n in an almost p e r fe c t qlnah (vss. 4b -17)

or p e n ta m e te r-s ty le bic o la which, I th in k , were o r i g i n a l l y

d is t r i b u t e d in f i v e stanzas o f seven b ic o la each. The f i r s t th re e

stanzas are well demarcated by the change o f scenes or realms; the

te x t o f the l a s t two stanzas seems to have been d is tu rb e d , deranging

the symmetry o f the poem, but the apparent d isturbance does not

d e tr a c t from the intended message o f the poem. The l i m it s o f the

poem are very c l e a r and d i s t i n c t a t i t s beginning. I t s end, we are

almost sure, occurs w ith vs. 2 1 .

2. Although the poem is w r itte n in (although not e xclu­

s iv e l y ) qinah meter rhythm, i t was also w r i t t e n in a form of

"mocking song." The poem seems to be a t y p i c a l case o f blending

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191

the l i t e r a r y genre qinah and mashal (proverb, pa rabolic mocking

song).

3. The t e x t does not show, in our view , any sign of

redaction in the poem i t s e l f .

4. The poem seems to have been composed in the time o f

Is a ia h of Jerusalem or b e fo re , and used i n i t i a l l y by the prophet

to depict a p ic tu r e th a t would make sense in the h i s t o r i c a l c o n te x t

o f his times.

5. In view o f the content and c h a r a c t e r is t i c s of the p r o ­

logue and epilogue o f the passage— or what precedes and fo llo w s

the poem— i t could have been re a p p lie d fo r a new h i s t o r i c a l c o n te x t

in the e x i l i c times.

6. In view o f the l a s t two items presented, i t is v e ry

d i f f i c u l t and unwise to i d e n t i f y the fig u r e o r subject of the poem—

in i t s e n t i r e t y — as a s p e c i f i c person in a s p e c i f i c epoch; but it

seems th a t both the monarchs o f the Assyrian Empire (Sargon and

Sennacherib, e t c . ) , as well as the Neo-Babylonian Empire Rulers

(Nebuchadnezzar, Nabonidus, e t c . ) could— depending on the epoch

o f a p p lic a tio n — be meant. Besides t h a t , the poem shows signs o f

connoting more than in d iv id u a l p e r s o n a litie s as i t s subject and

makes room f o r a c o l l e c t i v e o r co rp o rativ e a p p l ic a t i o n — by

transference or extension— o f the subject. In ..hat case the

e n t i t i e s under which Is ra e l had in te n s e ly s u ffe re d could be i d e n t ­

i f i e d as the world powers o f A ssyria or Babylon.

7. The use o f the terms mashal and Babel seems to i n d i c a t e

also that the power depicted in the passage is one th a t opposes God

and f i t s , in an extended sense, the powers which fo llo w

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192

s e lf-s u ffic ie n t, s e lf-g lo rify in g , r e b e llio u s , and God-opposing ways.

The poem i t s e l f , the prologue and the epilogue, as w ell as the

f i r s t p a r t o f the oracle a g ain s t Babel (1 3 :2 -1 4 :2 3 ) seem to present

a tension between the d e s c r ip tio n which could be a p p lie d to

h i s t o r i c a l events and the d e s c r ip t io n of events which belong to

cosmic l e v e l . I t seems th a t the prophet had in mind to d e p ict

something o f cosmic scope, but in the process he makes use of

immediate h i s t o r i c a l events w hich, in any ins tan ce , are p a rt o f

the whole p ic tu r e o f the b a t t l e between God ana the powers h o s tile

to Him.

8. Vss. 12-15 are t h a t p o i n t in the poem where the prophet,

in a c le a r e r way, gives the impression that the im p lic a tio n s o f the

poem transcend mere h i s t o r i c a l fi g u r e s in the human e a r t h l y realm.

Those verses seem to p e rta in to the heavenly realm or the sphere

o f the heavenly beings. Examining those cru cia l verses in themselves,

in r e l a t i o n to the whole poem, and in r e la tio n to o th e r passages is

the task o f the fo llo w in g pages.

Exegesis— vss. 12-15

4s noted a b o v e j th e o lo g ian s since the end o f the nineteenth

c en tu ry, have viewed these vss. (1 2 - 1 5 ) as o f m ythological o r i g i n ;

the Ras-Shamra te x ts have s upplied some m aterial which has

strengthened the s ch o la rs ’ view t h a t the m aterial o f th is passage


2
must have come (as already suggested by Gunkel ) from a Canaanite

] Pp. 17-34.
2
Schopfunq und Chaos, p. I3 j .

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153

s e ttin g j However, as noted in chapter 2, although we fin d e le ­

ments in the Is a ia h passage which seem to be present in the

mythological l i t e r a t u r e from the Near East, we have not been able

to fin d corresponding mythological phraseology f o r the Isaiah

passage.

In a d d itio n to our concern o f i d e n t i f y in g the fig u r e in vss.

4 b -11as the same one found in vss. 12-15, we are faced with the

g re a te r d i f f i c u l t y in t h i s passage which derives from the fa c t

th a t '?'?'< n , which could o f f e r the info rm a tio n to i d e n t i f y ,

is unknown to us. A lso, c e r t a i n expressions in t h i s t h i r d stanza

of the poem have been d i f f i c u l t to in te rp re t. These in c lu d e ,

i is 'i ,: v ^ 0 3 . Let us
•• : - ~ -r -r- --t.-t

consider those expressions now in more d e t a i l .

He!el ben Shahar ( " i n ^ - 7 3 Y Q -’ n)

To s t a r t w i t h , we have the task o f discovering i f we have in

"? ■> na verb or a noun, and i f the root fo r the word is ^ 17 (to

howl) or 'p 2 n (to s h in e ). The Pesh. viewed the word— probably

because o f the use found in Jer 47:2 ( ' ? ' ? ' ' h t ) , Ezek 21:17 (> 7 ^ <}' ) ,
2 3
and Zech 11:2 ( 2 2 ' , n ) — as a Hi ph. o f 2 2 ^ and rendered i t as i-u-..

(howl [aph. o f ] ) . Subsequent commentators seem to have


4 5
followed t h i s view. However, Henderson o bjects to the use of the

^Cf. S c o t t, pp. 261-62; R. E. Clements, God and Temple


(Oxford: Basil B la c k w e ll, 1 965), p. 7; G r e lo t , " I s a i e 1 4:12-15,''
pp. 18-48; e t c .

2C f. KBL, pp. 382-83; BOB, p. 410.

2Cf. R. Payne Smith, Thesaurus S yria cu s , 2 v o ls . ( O x i n ii :


E. Typographeo Clarendoniano, 1879), 1:1598.

^Cf. Henderson, p. 132; Young, I s a i a h , 1:440. 5P. 132.

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194

imperative in t h i s t e x t , saying th a t "the s tr u c tu r e of the verse is

decidedly opposed; the p a r a l l e li s m re q u irin g ^ ^ "* j7 t 0

describe the person before his having f a l l e n from heaven, j u s t as

a 'V )) •y'? i n describes him previous to his having been f e l l e d

to the ground. Any im perative i n t e r j e c t e d would spoil the beauty,

and im pair the force o f the language."

The LXX (-ijc p d o o ;), Targ. (K rn iu i ^ i D S ) , 1 and Vulg.


2
(L u c ife r), e tc ., took '?'?'> n as coming from the root ^ n (to

shine) and rendered i t as a noun. As Alden says,^ we fin d in a t

le a s t th re e Sem itic languages besides Hebrew, a form o f the word


4
having the meaning "to shine"— the Akkadian e l l u , the U g a r itic

h l l , and the Arabic ha 11 a . ^ The MT vocalizes the word but

some scholars have p re fe rre d i t vocalized connecting i t

with the Arab hi 1a 1^ and rendered "new moon." N. A. Konig^ sees

^J. F. Stenning ( The Tarqum of Isaiah [Oxford: Clarendon


Press, 1 9 4 9 ], pp. 48-49) tr a n s la te s these two words as "the b r i g h t
s ta r."

C f. Henderson (p. 132) f o r a l i s t o f commentators who


hold th is view.

From ha 1 i 1u -*■ el i l u , "pure, s hiny." The feminine form is


e l l i t u and is a name fo r the goddess I s h t a r ; c f . G re lo t, "Sur la
v o c a lis a tio n de ( Is a 1 4 : 1 2 ) , " VT 6 ( 1 9 5 6 ): 303; W ildberger,
pp. 534-35.

^Cf. W ildberger, p. 535.

6So Hugo Winckler, Geschichte I s r a e ls in E in z e ld a rs te llu n g e n


. . . 2 v o ls . (L e ip z ig : E. P f e i f f e r , 1 89 5 -1 9 0 0 ), 1:24. D. Winton
Thomas, BHK; c f . also KBL, p. 231.

7 Konig, " L u c ife r ," p. 479.

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195

in 7 7 ^ rr the l a s t quarter moon, j u s t about to disappear.^


2
Wildberger thinks i t is absurd to i d e n t i f y e i t h e r the new moon
3
or the l a s t q u a rte r moon w ith the son of the dawn, adding th a t
* 4
in a is good Hebrew and should not be emended. He proposes the

i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f 7 7 ^ n as being an e p ith e t o f a d e i t y . 8 I t seems

th a t w ith G r e l o t 8 we should m a in ta in the MT v o c a l i z a t io n and to

admit t h a t — based on the c o ntext in r e la tio n to t " W l 2 — the

word comes from 7 7 rr (s h in e ) and has an a s tr a l c o n n o ta tio n ; 7

and the t r a n s l a t i o n cjcjojo ; (LXX) and Luc ife r ( V u l g . ) , and the


g
paraphrase o f the T a r g ., are in agreement w ith the o r i g i n a l .

The expression ~i rr:? “ 7 a 7 7 ^ n , as such, ’-s a hapax

legomenon in the OT; i n a is n o t. In order to help in the i n t e r ­

p r e ta tio n o f '?'?'< n , the use o f the words i rry “ 7 2 must be taken


g
in to c o n s id e r a tio n . The word occurs f r e q u e n t l y in the OT and

^ome change n n t- it o " in 's , by which the moon (god) is de sig ­


nated in some Semitic languages, thus "New Moon, Son o f the Last
Q u a rte r." C f. also McKay, p. 452.

2 P. 551.

2Cyrus H. Gordon ("A M arriage of the Gods in Canaanite


Mythology," BASOR 65 Cl9 3 7 ] : 3 1 - 3 3 ) tends to i n t e r p r e t the term as
meaning “new moon"; D