Fiery Stones

Maurice A. O'Sullivan mauros at
Mon Jan 14 13:40:15 EST 2002

At 19:41 12/01/02, Eric Hill wrote:

>In Eze 28:14 Ezekiel says about the King of Tyre that he "walked among the
>fiery stones". Is there some symbolic meaning in Hebrew of the "fiery
>stones". What are they?

In the second volume ( Chapters 25-48 ) of:
Block, Daniel I. The Book of Ezekiel. 2 vols.  . Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998.
you will find footnotes devoted to the varying interpretations of " stones 
of fire " -- but all of these seem more concerned with identifying the 
nature of the stones, rather than any possible symbolic meanings.
Block himself holds to the opinion that " these stones are best understood 
as decorative, contributing to the magnificence and brilliance of the 
picture ".

Block goes on:
 >> If this interpretation is correct, this passage is illuminated by a 
remarkable analogue in a fragment of the Gilgamesh Epic that describes the 
arrival of the hero in the garden of the gods:
[ <snipped> you will find his quotation on p. 115, and he references this 
to ANET p.89 ]

For myself, I would be more interested in the form of the verb, the 
hithpael, "walking up and down ", with, as Block points out, echoes 
of/references to God in the garden ( Gn. 3:8 )  " of Abraham walking up and 
down the land, in effect staking this claim to it, Gn. 13:17, also the 
surveyors of the land of Canaan ( Josh. 18:4) and the satan in Job 1:7 ".

Incidentally, Block has a cautionary note:

 >> Even if the link between Ezekiel's list of gemstones and the high 
priest's chestpiece is strong, the significance of this connection should 
not be exaggerated, nor blind the reader to the prophet's special 
adaptation of the imagery for his own rhetorical purposes............He has 
no interest in identifying the king of Tyre with the high priest of Israel. <<<

Maurice A. O'Sullivan
[Bray, Ireland]
mauros at

"Mere description is impossible. Language forces you to an implicit
comment." C.S. Lewis

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