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An Old Testament Background to Acts 12. 20–231

  • Mark R. Strom


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[2] For a helpful discussion of the forcefulness and suitability of Ezekiel's use of this metaphor, cf. Good, E. M., ‘Ezekiel's Ship: Some Extended Metaphors in the Old Testament’, Semitics 1 (1970) 79103.

[3] Yates, D. R. has related Ezekiel 28 to the overall anthropology of Ezekiel, arguing that the prophet makes use of an eschatological framework to exceed covenantal and historical restrictions in his portrayal of man, cf. ‘The Eschatological Message Concerning Man in the Book of Ezekiel’ (Ph.D. dissertation, Boston University, 1972).

[4] Cf. Yaron, K., ‘The Dirge over the King of Tyre’, ASTI 3 (1964) 2857, Habel, N. C., ‘Ezekiel 28 and the Fall of the First Man’, CTM 38 (1967) 516–24, Zimmerli, W., Ezechiel 2548, BKAT (Neukirchen: Verlag des Erziehungsverein, 1969) 683 and Williams, A. J., ‘The Mythological Background of Ezekiel 28: 12–19’, BTB 6 (1976) 4961.

[5] Cf. Yaron, , ‘Dirge’, 31. The pointing of ℵ is one of the most vexed questions of this passage. If , then the cherub seems identified with the king and the pointing of ℸℶℵ (v. 16) remains as in MT (i.e. the Lord kills the cherub). However, if it is read as (LXX μετά), then the cherub is not the king, but the Lord's instrument of execution (ℸℶℵ in v. 16 will therefore have to be emended as 3ms). I have chosen to follow the LXX, though the MT is not impossible even if very difficult. The feminine () is certainly an unusual understanding of ℶiιℸ. Not only is the evidence for the masculine use of scanty (cf. Num 11. 15; Deut 5. 24), but within Ezekiel 28 the masculine form () is used consistently in every other instance (cf. vv. 2b, 3, 9, 12b, 15). Furthermore, it is inadequate to argue that Ezekiel would have used if he meant ‘with’, since he consistently uses for this meaning.

[6] Cf. Roloff, J., Die Apostelgeschichte, NTD 5 (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, 1981) 188.

[7] In addition to the work of Roloff, the motif of hubris has also been discussed by several other scholars in Acts 12 though the connection to Ezekiel 28 remained unexplored, cf. Nestle, W., ‘Legenden vom Tod Gottesverachter’, ARW 33 (1936) 263–9, Conzelmann, H., Die Apostelgeschichte, HNT 7 (Tübingen: J. C. B. Mohr, 1963) 71 and Schneider, G., Die Apostelgeschichte II, HTKNT 5 (Freiburg: Herder, 1982) 101, 107–9.

[1] I would like to thank Dr. Moises Silva of Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia USA, for his encouragement and advice throughout the writing of this study.

An Old Testament Background to Acts 12. 20–231

  • Mark R. Strom


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