Ezekiel 28:12b-13... Question or Statement?

VALEDICTION info at valediction.com
Mon May 6 21:33:31 EDT 2002


I'm always a wee bit apprehensive about posting here since I'm not a Hebrew
scholar... but please bear with me...

I was interested in hearing some thoughts on Ezekiel 28:11-17...

"You were the model of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.
You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you:
ruby, topaz and emerald, chrysolite, onyx and jasper, sapphire, turquoise
and beryl.  Your settings and mountings were made of gold; on the day you
were created they were prepared."
--New International Version Bible--
Ezekiel 28:12b-13

Christian Bible teachers tend to interpret this section of Scripture as
going beyond the King of Tyre directly to Satan (ie, not just a typology of
Satan, but Satan himself).  This view is supported by pointing out such
things as (1) he was created perfect - v.12; (2) he was perfect in beauty -
v.12; (3) he as in Eden - v.13; (4) he was anointed as a guardian cherub -
v.14; (5) he's called cherub again in v.16; (6) his heart became proud on
account of his beauty - v.17; (7) he was thrown down to earth (to the
ground) - v.17.

However, while doing some reseach in my ArtScroll Tanach (Jewish Orthodox),
I noticed a different rendering of v.12b-13:

"'Are you [Adam] the culmination of perfection, full of wisdom, perfect in
beauty?  Were you in the Eden, the garden of God; Was your canopy of every
precious stone -- Odem, pitedah and yahalom; tarshish, shoham and yashfeh;
sapir, nophech and barkas -- and gold?'"
--ArtScroll Tanach--
Ezekiel 28:12b-13

They also added a footnote in which they paraphrase v.12 according to the
Midrash's understanding:
"Are you as perfect as the first man, Adam, the die from which all mankind
was cast?"

A second footnote paraphases v.14 (ie, a great sheltering cherub) according
to Rashi:
"You were a leader of very great stature.  God blessed you because your
predecessor, King Hiram of Tyre, played a major role in the building of
Solomon's Temple, upon the mountain of God (see I Kings 15), in cooperation
with the fiery stones, i.e., David and Solomon, the grat kings of Israel.

My question is in regard to the original Hebrew.  I know that puctuation
marks don't exist in the original... so how do you know whether your dealing
with a statement or a rhetorical question here in verses 12b-13 of Ezekiel
28?

Joe



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