'You Were the (Divine) Cherub': A Potential Challenge to YHWH's Sole Divinity in Ezekiel 28:14, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 41/1 (2016): 99-116

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According to the Masoretic vocalizations, Ezek 28:14 directly identifies the king of Tyre as "the anointed covering cherub." Hector Patmore has recently suggested that the Masoretic vocalizations adn accentuation produce an awkward reading
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   ournalforthe tudyofthe  l Testament Vol41.1(2016):99-116©TheAuthor(s),2016.ReprintsandPermissions:http://www.sagepub.co.uk/journalsPermissions.navDOl:10.1177/0309089216628419http://JSOT.sagepub.com  YouWerethe Divine)Cherub :APotentialChallengeto Y W S SoleDivinityinEzekiel28.14* LYDIALEE Faculty of Theology,North-WestUniversity,2520Potchefstroom,SouthAfrica  bstmct AccordingtotheMasoreticvocalizations,Ezek.28.14directlyidentifiestheking of Tyre as 'theanointedcoveringcherub'.HectorPatmorehasrecentlysuggestedthattheMasoreticvocalizationsandaccentuationproduceanawkwardreading ofthe verse,andthattheHebrewconsonantaltextdoesnotperceivetheTyriankingasacherubbutagod.Thisarticleundertakesatwo-foldexamination of thiscontroversialverse.First,itcontendsonsyntacticalgroundsthattheMasoreticidentification ofthe Tyriankingwiththecherubrendersanintelligiblereading ofthe consonantaltext.Second,itsuggeststhattheMasoreticpresentation ofthe Tyriankingasacherubisconceptuallycompatiblewith * Mysincerethanks go toDrCarlaSulzbachforkindlyproofreadingandcommentingonthisarticle.Iamalsoindebted to ProfessorAlanLenzifordrawingmyattentiontotherelevantancientNearEasternmaterials.Arudimentaryidea ofthis articlewasdevelopedduringmyco-operationwithothermembers of theSofja-KovalevskajaResearchTeamintheAdvancedSeminarCourse'MonotheisminLateBiblicalTexts'atGeorg-August-UniversitatGiittingeninWinterSemester2012/2013.Anysurvivingerrors of factaremine.  at North-West University on September 14, 2016 jot.sagepub.comDownloaded from   100 JournalfortheStudy of theOldTestament 41.1(2016) Patmore'sargumentforthedivinity ofthe TyriankinginEzek. 28.14. By comparingtheTyriankingtoacherub,theverseextolstheTyriankingtoanearly, ifnot fully,divinestatus,whichpotentiallychallengesthesoledivinityofYHwH. KeywOl'ds: Ezekiel 28.14, Masoreticvocalizationsandaccentuation,Cherub,Tyrianking,divinity,HectorPatmore. 1.Introduction AncientHebrew and Greekversions ofEzek. 28.14presenttherelationshipbetweentheking ofTyre and thecherub in twovastlydifferentwaysthathavecaughttheeye of manycommentators. 1 In theMasoretictext (MT), theversedirectlyidentifiestheking of Tyrianking as 'theanointed 1. E.g.G.A.Anderson,'Ezekiel 28, theFall of Satan,andtheAdamBooks',inG.A.Anderson etal. (eds.), Literatureon Adam and Eve:CollectedEssays (SVTP, 15; Leiden:E.J.Brill, 2000), pp. 133-47, esp. 137-40; D.Arbel,'Questionsabout Eve's Iniquity,Beauty,andFall:The PrimalFigure in Ezekiel 28:11-19 and GenesisRabbah Traditions of Eve', JBL 124(2005), pp. 641-55, esp. 649-51; J. Barr,  'Thou ArttheCherub :Ezekiel 28: 14 andthePost-EzekielUnderstanding of Genesis 2-3', in E. Ulrich etal. (eds.), Priests,Prophets and Scribes:EssaysontheFormation and Heritage of Second TempleJudaism in Honour of JosephBlenkinsopp (JSOTSup, 149; Sheffield:JSOTPress, 1992), pp. 213-23; P.-M.Bogaert,'MontagneSainte,Jardind'EdenetSanctuaire(Hierosolymitain)dansunOracled'Ezechielcontre Ie PrincedeTyr(Ez 28,11-19) ,Homo Religiosus 9(1983), pp. 131-53, esp. 134-36; idem,'LeCherub de Tyr(Ez 28,14.16) etI'Hippocampe de sesMonnaies',in R. Liwakand S. Wagner(eds.), Prophetie und geschichtlicheWirklichkeitimaltenIsrael (Stuttgart:Kohlhamrner, 1991), pp. 29-38; S.N.Bunta,'YHWH'sCulticStatueafter 597/586 BCE:ALinguisticandTheologicalReinterpretation ofEzek 28:12', CBQ 69(2007), pp. 222-41, esp.pp. 238-40; D.E.Callender,Jr,'ThePrimalManinEzekielandtheImage of God' ,SBLSP 37(1998), pp. 606-25; idem, Adam in MythandHistory:AncientIsraelitePerspectivesonthe Primal Human (HSS, 48; WinonaLake,IN:Eisenbrauns, 2000), pp. 87-136; J.E.Miller,'TheMaelaek of Tyre(Ezekiel 28,11-19)', ZAW 105(1993), pp. 497-501, esp. 498-99; M. Richelle, 'Le portraitchangeantduroi de Tyr(Ezechiel 28.11-18) danslestraditionstextuellesanciennes',inA.Lemaire(ed.), Pheniciensd Orient et d Occident.MelangesJosetteElayi (Paris:Maisonneuve),pp. 113-25, esp.pp. 120-25; C.Sulzbach,'NebuchadnezzarinEden?Daniel4andEzekiel 28' ,in H.M.NiemannandM.Augustin(eds.), StimulationfromLeiden:CollectedCommunications to theXVIIIthCongress of theInternationalOrganization for theStudy of the Old Testament,Leiden 2 4 (FrankfurtamMain:Lang, 2006), pp. 125-36; R.R.Wilson,'TheDeath of theKing of Tyre:TheEditorialHistory of Ezekiel 28', inJ.H.MarksandR.M.Good(eds.), Loveand Death in the AncientNear East:Essay in Honor of Marvin H Pope (Guilford,CN:FourQuarters, 1987), pp. 211-18, esp. 215-16; K.Yaron,'TheDirgeOvertheKing of Tyre', ASTI 3 (1964), pp. 28-57, esp. 28-35.  at North-West University on September 14, 2016 jot.sagepub.comDownloaded from   LEE  YouWerethe(Divine)Cherub 101 coveringcherub' HQセQoゥQ mZ77J7:l Z that is placedonthe'holymountain of Elohim , andwhich'walksinthemidstoffierystones'.2TheSeptuagint (LXX), contrary to the MT, doesnotenvisagetheking as acherub,butdistinguishestheTyriansovereignfromthecherub,reading 'I placedyoubesidethecherubonaholymountain of God' (/-lera TOU x g6Y)xa  j£ £ Opel 。 6£ou,v. 14;cf. v. 16).3 PerusingtheHebrewtextwithouttheMasoreticvocalizations,Patmorehasrecentlycomeupwithareading of v.14 similartothe LXX, onewhichdoesnotperceivetheTyriankingasananointedcoveringcherub. 4 Interestinglyenough, he suggeststhat'Ezekxxviii12-19hasbeenmisread(deliberatelyorotherwise)bythescribe(s)whoaddedthevocalizationandaccentuation' ,5 andthattheHebrewtext,stripped of itsvowelsandcantillationmarks,identifiestheTyriankingnot as acherub,but as agod (n i1tJ'i1'N). Thispresentstudywillundertakeatwo-foldexamination of thiscontroversialverse.Thefirstpart of thisstudywillevaluatePatmore'sproposedreading of theconsonantallayer of theHebrewtext.ContrarytoPatmore,IwillcontendthattheHebrewconsonantaltextdoesprovideenoughambiguitiesopenfordifferentlines of interpretation,sothattheMasoreticidentification of theTyriankingwiththecherubdoesnot'misread'theHebrewconsonantaltext,butratherrendersasyntacticallyintelligiblereadingsensitivetothesurroundingliterarycontext. In addition,itismycontentionthattheMasoreticreading,whichportraystheTyrianking as acherub,doesnotexclude,butcanconceptually 2. ThisisaninterpretationtakenoverbytheVulgate (tucherub). 3. The LXX seems to read nN in v.14 as apreposition 'with' followedbythenoun'cherub'.There is alsonomention ofthe 'covering'function ofthe cherub.Moreover,in v. 16,whilethe MT reads' AndIhavedestroyedyou,0coveringcherub,fromthemidst of thestones of fire' (\liN 'J:1N 11nn 1::>0;' :11.,::> 1i:1N1), the LXX againinterpretsthecherub as aseparateentityfromtheTyriankingandreadsasfollows: 'And thecherubbroughtyououtfromthemidst of thefierystones'(xal セケ。y カ ITE  [0 x EX flEITOU AlSwv 7rUplVWV). 4. H.M.Patmore, Adam,Satan,andtheKing of Tyre:TheInterpretation of Ezekiel 28:11-19 in LateAntiquity (JewishandChristianPerspectivesSeries,20;Leiden:E.J.Brill,2012),pp.197-201; idem, 'Did theMasoretesGet It Wrong?TheVocalizationandAccentuation of EzekielXXVIII12-19', VT 58(2008),pp.245-57.Forabriefsummary of hisposition,seealso 'Adam orSatan?TheIdentity of theKing of Tyre in LateAntiquity',in A. MeinandP.M.Joyce(eds.), AfterEzekiel:EssaysontheReception of aDifficultProphet (LHBOTS,535;NewYork:T&TClarkInternational,2011),pp.59-69,esp.60, 62. 5. Patmore,'Masoretes',p.245.  at North-West University on September 14, 2016 jot.sagepub.comDownloaded from   102 JournalfortheStudy of theOldTestament 41.1(2016) accommodatePatmore'soverallargumentforthedivinity of theTyriankinginEzek.28.14.Thesecondpart of thestudywillthusciteandanalyzebiblicalandextra-biblicalevidencethatpresentthecherub as alivingheavenlyordivinebeing.BycomparingtheTyrianking to acherub,Ezek.28.14extolstheTyriankingtoapartial, if notfull,divinestatus,whichpotentiallychallengesthesoledivinityofYHWH.Theend of thestudywillcorrelatethisfindingwiththebroaderscholarlydiscussionsonthemonotheisticpictureavailableinthebook of Ezekiel. 2. Opting for the MT's Syntactical Arrangement Ontheonehand,thevocalized MT Ezek.28.14reads as follows: l:;liOD n\ iQ7:l :11 l:;n'll l   J;l :;J tl';'? ;lw1.P  D:;J. r;t:;l?DD;' WW'J:;ll llin:;J. You weretheanointedcherubwhocovered,andIcreatedyou;6ontheholymountain of God you were,inthemidst of fierystonesyouwalkedabout 7 Ontheotherhand,Patmoresuggeststhattheconsonantalskeletonofvv.13b-14withouttheMasoreticvocalizationsshouldbereadasfollows: 1N.,:1;' tl1':11::>10;' mZI7:l7:l:11. ::> nN UJ1::> 1ZIip  ;':1l'mJ1 n ;, tl';'?N m?;,n;, 1ZIN 'J:1» 1m:1 On theday when youwerecreated,theyestablishedtheanointedcherubwhocovered,andIsetyouontheholymountain;youwereagod/divinebeing,inthemidst offiely stonesyouwalkedabout 8 Asseenfromabove,PatmoretreatstheTyrianking as aseparateentityfromtheanointedcoveringcherub.Anewclause,accordingtohim,beginsat ャ 0l':J in v. 13. 9 Meanwhile,hetakesthelastwordinthesameverse,rendersit as anactive polel verb,'theyestablished'  Qjセ[ZZャIL andlinksittothefirstfewwords of thenextverse(v. 14).10 Instead of followingthe MT toread nN as asecondpersonsingularpronoun  t[QセI referring to theking of Tyre,Patmorereadsit as adirectdefiniteobject 6. For thistranslation of1'nm1, seetheensuingdiscussion. 7. EnglishtranslationtakenandmodifiedfromPatmore, Adam, p.197; idem, 'Masoretes', pp.254-55; idem, 'Adam', p.61. 8. EnglishtranslationtakenandmodifiedfromPatmore, Adam, p.197; idem, 'Masoretes', pp.254-55; idem, 'Adam', p. 61.Foradiscussion of otherpossibilities of readingtheHebrewconsonantaltext,seeYaron, 'Dirge', p.29. 9. Patmore,'Masoretes',p.249.10.Patmore, Adam, p.198; idem, 'Masoretes', p.251.  at North-West University on September 14, 2016 jot.sagepub.comDownloaded from   LEE  YouWerethe(Divine)Cherub 103 marker HョセINQQ Throughthisrearrangement of wordsinvv.13-14,Patmoreobtainsanimpersonalsentence: 'On thedaythatyouwerecreated,theyestablishedtheanointedcherubwhocovered'  ャセョZZZャゥQ Ol :::l lJl0i1 nWT.m :::l1iJ   lJJ1J), whichcanalsoconveyapassivesense: 'On thedaythatyouwerecreated,theanointedcoveringcherubwasestablished' .12 Patmorearguesthattheestablishment of thecherub as aseparatecategory of beingenhancesthegrandandcosmicimportance of thecreation of theTyrianking. 13 Inaddition,PatmorecontendsthattheTyrianking of theconsonantaltextin v. 14 morenaturallypresentshimself as an tJ'i1'N. Hisjustification is twofold.Firstandforemost,Patmoreinsiststhat Tnml, whichhetranslates as 'andIsetyou',mustbereadtogetherwiththefollowingprepositionalphrase 'on theholymountain' (Wip  1i1:::l). TheMasoretes,however,seeminglyintend to let Tnml bereadalone.Theyplaced  etna/:J thefirstleveldisjunctiveaccentsignifyingamajorpause,on lJl0i1. Straightafter it, a r bia   whichacts as thethirdleveldisjunctiveaccentindicatingaslighterpause, is placedon Tnm1. 14 PatmorerejectsthisMasoreticaccentuationonthegroundthat'theverb toset,give Om) almostwithoutexceptiontakesaprepositiontoindicatetheindirectobject(e.g.'>', L -', -:::l)' .15 Second,Patmoreseparatestheprepositionalphrase 'on theholymountain' (Wip  1i1:::l) fromthenoun  Elohim エj ゥQ セIN TheMasoretes,nevertheless,placetwoconjunctiveaccents, kadmah and 11. Patmore, Adam, p.198; idem, 'Masoretes', p. 251.Bycontrast,Yaronreads nN as apreposition, 'with', anddeletes the' from l'nm, ('Dirge',pp.30-31).Thisgivesthefollowingtranslation of theHebrewconsonantaltext: 'I placedyouwiththeanointedcoveringcherub'.This is alsothereadingadoptedbyG.A.Cooke, Ezekiel:ACriticalandExegeticalCommentaryonthe Book of Ezekiel (ICC;Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark,1951), p. 317;W.Zimmerli, ACommentaryonthe Book of theProphetEzekiel (Hermeneia;2vols.;Philadelphia:FortressPress,1979,1983),II, p. 85;W.Eichrodt, Ezekiel:ACommentary (trans.C.Quin;OTL;Philadelphia:WestminsterPress,1970), p. 389; F. Fechter, BewiiltigungderKatastrophe.UntersuchungenzuausgewiihltenFremdvolkerspriichen im Ezechielbuch (BZAW,208;Berlin:deGruyter,1992),p.176.Despitethisdifference in understanding nN, bothPatmoreandtheaforementionedscholarssharetheviewthattheTyriankingshouldbereadasabeingcategoricallydifferentfromthecherub. 12. Patmore, Adam, pp.198-99; idem, 'Masoretes',pp.251-52. 13. Patmore, 'Masoretes',p. 251. 14. Ontheexegeticaldimension of theMasoreticaccentuation,see E. Tov, TextualCriticism of theHebrewBible (Minneapolis:FortressPress,1992),pp.67-71. 15. Patmore, Adam, p. 200; idem, 'Masoretes', p. 252.  at North-West University on September 14, 2016 jot.sagepub.comDownloaded from 
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