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The Double Current and the Tree of Healing in Ezekiel 47:1–12 in Light of Babylonian Iconography and Texts
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The Double Current and the Tree of Healing in Ezekiel 47:1–12 in Light of Babylonian Iconography and Texts

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Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht
This article analyzes two major ancient Near Eastern literary, iconographic and religious motifs... mehr
The Double Current and the Tree of Healing in Ezekiel 47:1–12 in Light of Babylonian Iconography and Texts
This article analyzes two major ancient Near Eastern literary, iconographic and religious motifs that have found their way in the vision described in Ezek. 47:1–12. These are the double current flowing from the Temple in Jerusalem in conjunction with the trees of healing growing on the river banks. Ezekiel text uses both motifs combined in the way they are found in ancient Near Eastern texts and iconography which makes it probable to see Ezek. 47:1–12 as the initial point of entry of a Babylonian tradition into the Hebrew Bible. We follow D. Barthélemy, who points out that the original reading in v. 9 is nah.alayˆım “rivers,double current,” and that the versions that transform it into a singular represent an obvious lectio facilior. The double current echoes the iconographic and textual motifs of two riversencompassing the façade of several Mesopotamian temples. The trees of healing are found in Middle and Neo-Assyrian healing incantations. In Ezekiel’s exilic prophecy, these motifsillustrate the vision of the spectacular renewal of nature and life with regained fertility and health inaugurated by the coming of the Messianic age. Joel 4:18 (ca. 400 BCE), and Deutero-Zechariah 14:8 (ca. 300 BCE), make use of one or both motifs with some modifications. Joel combines the tree of healing with the Pentateuchal traditions about the Valley of Shittim (Num. 33:49) and the ˇsit.t.ˆım-acacia wood of the ark and other cultic objects (Exod. 25:10, 23–24; 26:15; 27:1; 30:1). The motifs were adapted in the so-called “intertestamental” literature, as found in the Qumran texts, in the Apocrypha, and found their way in theJohannine literature (John 7:38 and Rev. 22:1–2) and in the Talmud. Before being further employed by other Hebrew prophets, however, these two motifs had their roots in ancientNear Eastern literature and iconography as far back as the 2nd millennium BCE and beyond.
Autoreninfos
    • Daniel Bodi
    • Daniel Bodi ist Professor für Religionsgeschichte der Antike an der Sorbonne Universität in Paris.
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