b-hebrew digest: August 17, 1999

Ruthy & Baruch alster at comandcom.com
Thu Aug 19 05:01:00 EDT 1999

Paul Zellmer wrote:

> I'm not quite sure from your post exactly what your idea is.  Is it the
> conclusion in #6, is it a combination of all the main ideas expressed at
> the start of each number paragraphs, or is it that 26:1-6 is separate
> from chapter 25?

Sorry if I wasn't clear enough.  My *main* point is, of course, that chap.
25 is meant for Ammon, to compare their punishment with those of other
nations (#6 below).


> > 1.  Chap. 26, 1-6 is separate from chap. 25.  Although these verses
> use
> > much of the same structure and language as the previous chapter, a.
> they
> > begin with a date; b. they lack the words KOH 'FMAR ':ADONFY Y-WH
> before
> > the description of Tyre's sins; and c. these verses use 2nd and 3rd
> person
> > alternately, while in chap. 25, vs. 3-7 use only 2nd person and vs.
> 8-17
> > use only 3rd person.  In light of this, chap. 26, 1-6 is possibly a
> > variation of the theme in chap. 25.
> >

> I agree that chapter 26 is separate from 25.  In fact, one of the
> organizing features that the book seems to use is the date.  Based on
> this, chapters 24 and 25 are connected, and chapters 26-28 are
> connected.

Connecting chaps. 24 and 25 seems to me slightly problematic, although this
happens to be the opinion of Abravanel.  In chaps. 1-24, Ezekiel's main
theme is the destruction of Jerusalem.  Chaps. 25-32, the oracles against
the nations, seem to have more in common with the restoration chapters
(33-48), especially chap. 25, where the nations sinned against
Israel/Judah, and in one case (Edom, v. 14), Israel itself will take

> While the theme of the section concerning Tyre starts out with the same
> type complaint against Tyre as was expressed against the groups in ch
> 25, I don't see that the two are so closely tied as to consider the
> first part of chapter 26 as a "variation" of the theme of chapter 25.
> It appears just as likely, or, considering the new division as marked by
> the statement of the date, perhaps even more likely that the common
> theme between the two chapters serves as a transition device, preserving
> the unity of book as a whole.


> > 4.  Vs. 3b-11 are connected by the similarity of the sins of Ammon,
> Moab
> > and Se`ir (expressions of joy over the destruction of Jerusalem), and
> (in
> > vs. 4 and 10) either the similarity of their punishment, or -
> according to
> > the MT - the mention of Ammon's punishment in connection with Moab.
> >

> I agree there's a unifying theme between the parts of the oracle.

> > 5.  Vs. 12-17 are connected by the repeated use of the root NQM (10
> times),
> > in the sins and punishments of Edom and the Phillistines.  In vs. 1-11
> and
> > in chap. 26, 1-6, this root is not mentioned at all.  The use of NQM
> shows
> > that the sin discussed here is not merely rejoicing over Jerusalem's
> > destruction, but actually taking revenge against Judah.  Another sign
> of
> > the division between vs. 3b-11 and 12-17 is the use of the name Se`ir
> in v.
> > 8, as opposed to Edom in vs. 12-14.
> >

> I see this more as a progression in the seriousness of the complaint as
> we go through the parts of the oracle.  There is also a progression in
> the punishments.  The use of progressions like these is a fairly common
> organizing features in communication in many different languages and
> cultures.

When I started working on this chapter, and I found there is a connection
between all its parts, I tried looking for a progression, since it is so
common.  But I couldn't find it - see below.
> > 6.  Therefore, Ezekiel's message in this oracle is to equate Ammon's
> > seemingly lighter sin of rejoicing with those nations who committed
> the
> > seemingly heavier sin of revenge.

> Perhaps you have read too much into the common theme and the pronominal
> use here.  I see the use of the second person in the first "sub-oracle"
> and the use of the third person in the other three more as an indication
> that Ezekiel expected the Ammonites to see the oracle while the other
> three would not.  But the punishment of Ammon (to be cut off and
> destroyed) is arguably less severe than the punishment of Moab (the
> exposure of the glory of the land and the infliction of punishment),

Sorry, but 'destruction' is much harsher than 'judgement'.  Ammon's
punishment is also written in much more detail than Moab's, which also
serves for emphasis.  This is why I don't see a progression of punishments

> which in turn is less severe than the punishment of Edom (take his
> vengeance [NIQ:MFTIY] by the hand of Israel, who will deal with the in
> accordance with YHWH's wrath), which in turn is less severe than the
> punishment of the Philistines (YHWH himself carrying out great vengeance
> [N:QFMOWT G:DOLOWTH] and punish them himself in his wrath.  Now, I'll
> admit the Ammonites, experiencing the punishment of YHWH, would be hard
> put to see the progression of the punishments, but it does appear as if
> the progression is there in language of the text.

If only Ammonites were meant to hear this message, and they wouldn't pay
attention to the 'progression', why go on about the other nations at all?


Baruch Alster

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