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Visions of Ezekiel (Researcher: Alinda Damsma):
Note: The profile for this book is under construction.
Selected Inventory point(s):
1.1 The text refers to itself as verbal entity (with implied or explicit boundaries).

Full profile (Bibliography at the bottom):
1.1 The text refers to itself as verbal entity (with implied or explicit boundaries).

1.1.3 The text uses expressions for characterizing itself as a bounded entity. (PROMPT: "all", "beginning", "some" referring to subject-matter in relation to text):

1.1.5 Important text witnesses attest to a heading which is not integrated with the body of the text or with any introductory frame, implying one or more of the kinds of information under 1.1.1–4. This applies to both the Cambridge fragment and the fragment from the British Library (cf. Halperin, p. 263).

1.2 The text presents its internal sequence of sentences (or larger parts) as mirroring the objective relationships of components in the projected world (an objective order), or projects its subject matter as self-limiting (5.3.). See further under 4, 5.2–5 or 6. There is an order in the description. Part I: the midrashic part follows the order of Ezek. 1:1; Part II gives an enumeration of heavens.

1.6 The approximate word count or other indication of comparative size is: The nearly complete text of the Cambridge Genizah fragment T-S 8C1 is written on fols. 3a-8a.

1.7 The text’s Inventory profile should be seen in the light of the following further information on completeness, thematic progression, aesthetic effects, etc.: Halperin divides the text in I.A-J: midrash; and II.A-K: enumeration of heavens. When refering to the text's individual paragraphs, I use Halperin's numbering system. See also 10.1

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2.1.1.2 The text is not narrative but the governing voice refers to utterances on the basis of unexplained knowledge of speech events of diverse periods and places. Throughout the text rabbinic sages are being quoted (cf. I.B-C.E.H; II.A1.C1.D1-2.)

2.1.1.3 The text’s governing voice speaks from the perspective of unmediated access to all levels and parts of some projected reality. In some parts of the text it is unclear whether the rabbinic authorities are still being quoted. It rather seems the case that the text's governing voice takes over. However, in general the Rabbis are being quoted (2.1.1.2)

2.1.8 The governing voice speaks at no point in the first person (except for any 2.2.4.3) and all persons/objects are mentioned from a third-person perspective.

2.2.1.3.4 It is found at the end of the text only. At the end of the text (II.K): "The visions of Ezekiel the son of Buzi the priest are completed".

2.4.1.1 for persons mentioned or presented in narrative usage; as characters; or topics, for example: prophet Ezekiel, rabbinic authorities,

2.4.1.2 for persons quoted with direct speech in a non-narrative co-text, for example: Isaiah, Hosea, Daniel, David, rabbinic authorities (although sometimes difficult to tell whether names are said in direct speech. Lines between narrative and direct speech are often blurred in this text)

2.4.1.3 for Gods/mythical figures/supernatural beings, etc., for example: Power (Geburah), King of King of Kings, Metatron, hayyot

2.4.1.4 for locations, for example: the names of the seven underworlds (Adamah, Eres, Heled, Neshiyyah, Dumah, Sheol, and Tit ha-Yawen), the names of the heavens (Shamayim, Shemei Shamayin, Zevul, Arafel, Shehaqim, Aravot and Kisse Kavod; later on the names sligly change: Raqia, Shemei Ha-Shamayim, Zevul, Arafel, Shehaqim, Makhon, Aravot, Kisse Ha-Kavod), the River Chebar.

2.4.1.5 for times or calendar dates (specific to a language or culture), for example: Tammuz (fourth month)

2.4.1.6 for documents, texts, books, etc. (identified through being referred to or quoted), for example: Torah, Qedushshah hymn,

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5.5 The text’s sequence of sub-topics (discursive or narrative) mirrors a temporal or spatial order, but without narrative emplotment between the sub-topics. Or it mirrors the sequence of units of meaning in another text (from single words to whole books), while not reproducing the relationships between those parts, not using quotations from it as lemmatic progression (i.e., no 6.1), and not creating narrative emplotment.

5.5.2 This order defines only a continuous substantial part of the text, as follows: The second part of the text II.A-K enumerates the heavens in the form of a "travel progression", ending with the highest heaven above which God resides.

5.10.2 The text’s governing voice presents the speech of characters mostly in the exclusive function of agreeing with, or providing the reason for, a statement expressed by that governing voice.

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6.1 The text’s most basic thematic progression consists of alternations of (a) quotations from a base text in their original sequence, and (b) statements which comment on or add to the meaning of these quotations.

6.1.6 The text also contains quotation-comment units which relate to texts other than the base text. The text contains many proof texts.

6.6.2 There is no regular distance in the base text from the beginning of one quotation to the beginning of the next quotation.

6.6.3.2 Less than a sentence in part I of the Visions (midrashic part): "And it came to pass in the thirtieth [year]" "In the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month" "while I was among the captivity" "At the river Chebar" "The heavens were opened"

6.8 Comment or non-comment statements are prominently or frequently presented as quotations of speech acts by individuals, groups or by anonymous speakers (without emplotment). "For they said to Ezekiel" ('they' is unknown) "They coined a parable" ('they' is unknown) "So taught the sages in the Mishnah" Many rabbis are also quoted.

6.10.4.2 The base text wording is tacitly or explicitly treated under the assumption that it cannot be inaccurate/insincere/invalid.

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7.1.3 There is prominent use of explicit quotations of biblical wording, whether in non-narrative or in narrative (but not in biblical commentary, for which see section 6). This applies to part II of the Visions (= enumeration of heavens)

7.1.8.2 The text presupposing biblical narrative fabric is a lemmatic sequential commentary on some part of the Hebrew Bible. This applies to part I of the Visions (= midrashic part)

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8.1.16 Descriptive sentence of a static (ocular) structure or "scientific" descriptive sentence: enumeration and description of the heavens (in part II of the Visions)

8.2.3 Self-contained question-answer unit in discourse concerning the meaning of an earlier word/words in the same text.In part I of the Visions (= midrashic part).

8.3.2 A mashal or other minimal (two-stage) narrative employed to model the emplotment of a biblical or other event: The text contains 2 parables.

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9.1.4 By mirroring a temporal or spatial order. See I[D]: list of underworlds; and 2[A-K]: enumeration of heavens,the distance between them (journey of 500 years),and the thickness of each heaven (journey of 500 years).

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10.1 The work consists of the juxtaposition of large constituent part-texts, each of which has its own thematic, lemmatic or narrative structure (e.g., for thematic part-texts, one of 1.1–3, 5.2–6, or 5.7.1–2 apply). The text consists of two part-texts: I.A-J, the Commentary part-text, and II.A-K, the Thematic Discourse part-text.

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11.1.1 Description of a reality, including a physical reality. Reality of the underworlds and heavens.

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Bibliography:

Editions:

I. Gruenwald, "Re’uyot Yehezkel", in I. Weinstock (ed.), Temirin: Texts and Studies in Kabala and Hasidism (Hebrew; Jerusalem: Mosad ha-Rav Kook, 1972, reprint 1997), pp. 101–39; earlier editions of the text include those by Marmorstein and Mann (see Gruenwald for details).

 

Translations:

D. J. Halperin, The Faces of the Chariot (Tubingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1988), pp. 264-268. In my comments to this profile I refer to Halperin's structuring of the text. He divides the text in I) midrash; and II) enumeration of heavens; L. Jacobs, Jewish Mytical Testimonies (New York: Schocken, 1977), ch. 3, pp. 26–35*.

Selected Studies:

I. Gruenwald, Apocalyptic and Merkavah Mysticism (Leiden: Brill, 1980), pp. 134–41; and see Halperin and Jacobs. PROVISIONAL point 12.1: 12.1 Sampling of genre labels applied to the text in secondary literature: Halperin (Faces of then Chariot, p. 282) considers the Visions of Ezekiel as some sort of petiha, although not in the strict sense of the word. He likes to think of the text as a "literary homily" which had its original Sitz im Leben in the synagogue on Shabuot; a literary reworking of ideas drawn from a whole series of Shabuot sermons.

As a reference system, I have used Halperin's numbering of the text's individual paragraphs.

12.1 to be reinstated after revision: "Sampling of genre labels applied to the text in secondary literature: Halperin (Faces of then Chariot, p. 282) considers the Visions of Ezekiel as some sort of petiha, although not in the strict sense of the word. He likes to think of the text as a "literary homily" which had its original Sitz im Leben in the synagogue on Shabuot; a literary reworking of ideas drawn from a whole series of Shabuot sermons."

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