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Re: [ANE-2] The cherubim of Ezekiel, and composite Babylonian and Assyrian temple/palace statues

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  • gdt.osiris
    ... [snip] Hi Stewart, Controversy aside .... The oldest occurrence of the Tetramoulon may date to a bronze cult stand dating circa 1200 BCE (and hence
    Message 1 of 5 , Jul 14, 2013
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      On 13 Jul 2013 at 19:48, Stewart Felker wrote:

      > So, it's uncontroversial that the cherubim of Ezekiel (chs. 1 and
      > 10) are
      > modeled on these statues. However, there seem to be several
      > innovations in
      > Ezekiel not attested elsewhere. First - to the best of my knowledge,
      > there
      > are no Babylonian/Assyrian statues that contains all four of the
      > creatures
      > that appear in Ezekiel: winged + leonine + bovine + human (although
      > some
      > have 2 or 3 of these). The second innovation is that, in Ezekiel,
      > the
      > cherubim have four FACES as well - not just bodies.
      >
      > In light of this, are we to say that these innovations were simply
      > so that
      > everything occurred in series of FOURS?
      >
      > And even if we answer this in the affirmative...why four? Is this
      > also
      > Babylonian? (The fourfold grouping of the zodiac? Four regions of
      > the
      > world?)
      [snip]

      Hi Stewart,

      Controversy aside ....

      The oldest occurrence of the Tetramoulon may date to a bronze cult stand dating circa 1200
      BCE (and hence pre-zodiacal) from Cyprus which portrays a cherub with the head of a man,
      the wings of an eagle, the forelegs of a lion and the hindquarters of a bull (see: Elie
      Borowski, "Cherubim: God's Throne?" in Biblical Archaeology Review, July/August, 1995).

      In his commentary on Ezekiel, Verses 1-20, (Anchor Bible, Volume 22, Pages 58) Moshe
      Greenberg states: "Virtually every component of Ezekiel's vision can ... be derived from
      Israelite tradition supplemented by neighboring iconography ...." As example: The four faces
      of the creatures may be traced back to the description of the cherubim in the Holy of Holies
      in Solomon's temple (See: 1 Kings 6:27, 28). Cherubim were frequently depicted as having
      the heads of men, the bodies of either lions or bulls - sometimes a lion's fore parts and a
      bull's hindquarters - and the wings of eagles sprouting from their lion or bull shoulders.

      In one commonly accepted interpretation the four creatures are supposed to correspond to
      four signs of the zodiac. The faces of the creatures (cherubim) seemingly correspond to 4
      zodiacal constellations (if the Eagle substitutes for the Scorpion). In this scenario .... The
      lion corresponds to the constellation of the lion. The ox corresponds to the constellation of
      the ox (i.e., the bull). The man probably corresponds to the scorpion-man (an old
      Babylonian name). The eagle was not taken from Aquarius (the water-bearer) but possibly
      from the constellation of the eagle in the neighbourhood.

      Ezekiel's visions are dated circa 600 BCE which is shortly after the Babylonians had
      established a 12-constellation zodiac. (Note: Not 12 sign zodiac.) Leslie Allen, Word Biblical
      Commentary: Ezekiel, Volumes 28 & 29, 1986) wrote that the 4 faces suggest the 4 cardinal
      directions (north = Eagle, east = Bull, south = Human, west = Lion).

      Gary Thompson
      Melbourne
      No academic affiliation


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Mata Kimasitayo
      A four fold, four faced composite in the sons of Horus draws attention to the four quality. Similarly there is one human face and three animal faces (jackal,
      Message 2 of 5 , Jul 14, 2013
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        A four fold, four faced composite in the sons of Horus
        draws attention to the four quality. Similarly there is
        one human face and three animal faces (jackal, hawk, &
        baboon), drawing attention to this 3 + 1 sub-feature,
        in the four sons of Horus iconography.

        mata kimasitayo
        bloomington indiana

        From: Stewart Felker
        Sent: Saturday, July 13, 2013 8:48 PM
        To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [ANE-2] The cherubim of Ezekiel, and composite Babylonian and Assyrian temple/palace statues

        So, it's uncontroversial that the cherubim of Ezekiel (chs. 1 and 10) are
        modeled on these statues. However, there seem to be several innovations in
        Ezekiel not attested elsewhere. First - to the best of my knowledge, there
        are no Babylonian/Assyrian statues that contains all four of the creatures
        that appear in Ezekiel: winged + leonine + bovine + human (although some
        have 2 or 3 of these). The second innovation is that, in Ezekiel, the
        cherubim have four FACES as well - not just bodies.

        In light of this, are we to say that these innovations were simply so that
        everything occurred in series of FOURS?

        And even if we answer this in the affirmative...why four? Is this also
        Babylonian? (The fourfold grouping of the zodiac? Four regions of the
        world?)

        Stewart Felker
        University of Memphis


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Trudy Kawami
        Actually the Neo-Assyrian practice of monumental composite guardian statues for royal palaces is more relevant that any theoretical zodiacal configuration. The
        Message 3 of 5 , Jul 14, 2013
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          Actually the Neo-Assyrian practice of monumental composite guardian statues for royal palaces is more relevant that any theoretical zodiacal configuration. The Neo-Assyrian sculptures featured winged bovids or felids with human head. Additionally there ate small clay guardian figures & some larger stone reliefs with additional composite creatures who always function as supportive, protective figures. Before the Neo-Assyrian examples are a raft of second mill BCE versions of Neo-Hittite & Hittite production. So there is a long visual ancestry to Ezekiel's cherubim. Do note that none of this ancestry involved Babylonia where such mischewessen were not popular in the first mill BCE as far as we can tell. But if you are looking only the four-faces aspect, then there are two lovely bronze Babylonian (as in ca. 18th cent BCE) statuettes in the Oriental Institute in Chicago of a male and a female deity with four faces each. No animals involved here however.
          Might one say that the motifs were "in the air" and Ezekiel merely snagged them together?
          Trudy Kawami
          ________________________________
          From: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com [ANE-2@yahoogroups.com] on behalf of gtosiris@... [gtosiris@...]
          Sent: Sunday, July 14, 2013 4:02 PM
          To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [ANE-2] The cherubim of Ezekiel, and composite Babylonian and Assyrian temple/palace statues



          On 13 Jul 2013 at 19:48, Stewart Felker wrote:

          > So, it's uncontroversial that the cherubim of Ezekiel (chs. 1 and
          > 10) are
          > modeled on these statues. However, there seem to be several
          > innovations in
          > Ezekiel not attested elsewhere. First - to the best of my knowledge,
          > there
          > are no Babylonian/Assyrian statues that contains all four of the
          > creatures
          > that appear in Ezekiel: winged + leonine + bovine + human (although
          > some
          > have 2 or 3 of these). The second innovation is that, in Ezekiel,
          > the
          > cherubim have four FACES as well - not just bodies.
          >
          > In light of this, are we to say that these innovations were simply
          > so that
          > everything occurred in series of FOURS?
          >
          > And even if we answer this in the affirmative...why four? Is this
          > also
          > Babylonian? (The fourfold grouping of the zodiac? Four regions of
          > the
          > world?)
          [snip]

          Hi Stewart,

          Controversy aside ....

          The oldest occurrence of the Tetramoulon may date to a bronze cult stand dating circa 1200
          BCE (and hence pre-zodiacal) from Cyprus which portrays a cherub with the head of a man,
          the wings of an eagle, the forelegs of a lion and the hindquarters of a bull (see: Elie
          Borowski, "Cherubim: God's Throne?" in Biblical Archaeology Review, July/August, 1995).

          In his commentary on Ezekiel, Verses 1-20, (Anchor Bible, Volume 22, Pages 58) Moshe
          Greenberg states: "Virtually every component of Ezekiel's vision can ... be derived from
          Israelite tradition supplemented by neighboring iconography ...." As example: The four faces
          of the creatures may be traced back to the description of the cherubim in the Holy of Holies
          in Solomon's temple (See: 1 Kings 6:27, 28). Cherubim were frequently depicted as having
          the heads of men, the bodies of either lions or bulls - sometimes a lion's fore parts and a
          bull's hindquarters - and the wings of eagles sprouting from their lion or bull shoulders.

          In one commonly accepted interpretation the four creatures are supposed to correspond to
          four signs of the zodiac. The faces of the creatures (cherubim) seemingly correspond to 4
          zodiacal constellations (if the Eagle substitutes for the Scorpion). In this scenario .... The
          lion corresponds to the constellation of the lion. The ox corresponds to the constellation of
          the ox (i.e., the bull). The man probably corresponds to the scorpion-man (an old
          Babylonian name). The eagle was not taken from Aquarius (the water-bearer) but possibly
          from the constellation of the eagle in the neighbourhood.

          Ezekiel's visions are dated circa 600 BCE which is shortly after the Babylonians had
          established a 12-constellation zodiac. (Note: Not 12 sign zodiac.) Leslie Allen, Word Biblical
          Commentary: Ezekiel, Volumes 28 & 29, 1986) wrote that the 4 faces suggest the 4 cardinal
          directions (north = Eagle, east = Bull, south = Human, west = Lion).

          Gary Thompson
          Melbourne
          No academic affiliation

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • gdt.osiris
          Hi Trudy, The zodiacal creature composite remains a common explanation and/or point of discussion in the literature so worth mentioning. I have not endorsed
          Message 4 of 5 , Jul 14, 2013
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            Hi Trudy,

            The zodiacal creature composite remains a common explanation and/or point of discussion
            in the literature so worth mentioning. I have not endorsed this explanation. Multiple
            examples of composite creatures and four-winged creatures (including the god Ninurtu)
            abound in Mesopotamian, Syrian, and Phoenician art. I appreciate you mentioning the 18th-
            century BCE Babylonian examples of statuettes with 4 faces each. However, no exact or
            close examples to the description in Ezekiel seem to exist unless aspects of the description
            are isolated. To cite The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament by John
            Walton, Victor Matthews, and Mark Chavalas (2000, Page 690): "1:6, 10. four-faced
            creatures. There does not seem to be any exact Near Eastern parallels to these multifaced
            creatures. ... there are few examples of multiple faces on the same creature."

            Regards,

            Gary Thompson
            Melbourne
            No academic affiliation

            On 15 Jul 2013 at 0:04, Trudy Kawami wrote:

            > Actually the Neo-Assyrian practice of monumental composite guardian
            > statues for royal palaces is more relevant that any theoretical
            > zodiacal configuration. The Neo-Assyrian sculptures featured winged
            > bovids or felids with human head. Additionally there ate small clay
            > guardian figures & some larger stone reliefs with additional
            > composite creatures who always function as supportive, protective
            > figures. Before the Neo-Assyrian examples are a raft of second mill
            > BCE versions of Neo-Hittite & Hittite production. So there is a long
            > visual ancestry to Ezekiel's cherubim. Do note that none of this
            > ancestry involved Babylonia where such mischewessen were not popular
            > in the first mill BCE as far as we can tell. But if you are looking
            > only the four-faces aspect, then there are two lovely bronze
            > Babylonian (as in ca. 18th cent BCE) statuettes in the Oriental
            > Institute in Chicago of a male and a female deity with four faces
            > each. No animals involved here however.
            > Might one say that the motifs were "in the air" and Ezekiel merely
            > snagged them together?
            > Trudy Kawami
            > ________________________________
            > From: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com [ANE-2@yahoogroups.com] on behalf of
            > gtosiris@... [gtosiris@...]
            > Sent: Sunday, July 14, 2013 4:02 PM
            > To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
            > Subject: Re: [ANE-2] The cherubim of Ezekiel, and composite
            > Babylonian and Assyrian temple/palace statues
            >
            >
            >
            > On 13 Jul 2013 at 19:48, Stewart Felker wrote:
            >
            > > So, it's uncontroversial that the cherubim of Ezekiel (chs. 1
            > and
            > > 10) are
            > > modeled on these statues. However, there seem to be several
            > > innovations in
            > > Ezekiel not attested elsewhere. First - to the best of my
            > knowledge,
            > > there
            > > are no Babylonian/Assyrian statues that contains all four of the
            > > creatures
            > > that appear in Ezekiel: winged + leonine + bovine + human
            > (although
            > > some
            > > have 2 or 3 of these). The second innovation is that, in
            > Ezekiel,
            > > the
            > > cherubim have four FACES as well - not just bodies.
            > >
            > > In light of this, are we to say that these innovations were
            > simply
            > > so that
            > > everything occurred in series of FOURS?
            > >
            > > And even if we answer this in the affirmative...why four? Is
            > this
            > > also
            > > Babylonian? (The fourfold grouping of the zodiac? Four regions
            > of
            > > the
            > > world?)
            > [snip]
            >
            > Hi Stewart,
            >
            > Controversy aside ....
            >
            > The oldest occurrence of the Tetramoulon may date to a bronze cult
            > stand dating circa 1200
            > BCE (and hence pre-zodiacal) from Cyprus which portrays a cherub
            > with the head of a man,
            > the wings of an eagle, the forelegs of a lion and the hindquarters
            > of a bull (see: Elie
            > Borowski, "Cherubim: God's Throne?" in Biblical Archaeology Review,
            > July/August, 1995).
            >
            > In his commentary on Ezekiel, Verses 1-20, (Anchor Bible, Volume 22,
            > Pages 58) Moshe
            > Greenberg states: "Virtually every component of Ezekiel's vision can
            > ... be derived from
            > Israelite tradition supplemented by neighboring iconography ...." As
            > example: The four faces
            > of the creatures may be traced back to the description of the
            > cherubim in the Holy of Holies
            > in Solomon's temple (See: 1 Kings 6:27, 28). Cherubim were
            > frequently depicted as having
            > the heads of men, the bodies of either lions or bulls - sometimes a
            > lion's fore parts and a
            > bull's hindquarters - and the wings of eagles sprouting from their
            > lion or bull shoulders.
            >
            > In one commonly accepted interpretation the four creatures are
            > supposed to correspond to
            > four signs of the zodiac. The faces of the creatures (cherubim)
            > seemingly correspond to 4
            > zodiacal constellations (if the Eagle substitutes for the Scorpion).
            > In this scenario .... The
            > lion corresponds to the constellation of the lion. The ox
            > corresponds to the constellation of
            > the ox (i.e., the bull). The man probably corresponds to the
            > scorpion-man (an old
            > Babylonian name). The eagle was not taken from Aquarius (the
            > water-bearer) but possibly
            > from the constellation of the eagle in the neighbourhood.
            >
            > Ezekiel's visions are dated circa 600 BCE which is shortly after the
            > Babylonians had
            > established a 12-constellation zodiac. (Note: Not 12 sign zodiac.)
            > Leslie Allen, Word Biblical
            > Commentary: Ezekiel, Volumes 28 & 29, 1986) wrote that the 4 faces
            > suggest the 4 cardinal
            > directions (north = Eagle, east = Bull, south = Human, west =
            > Lion).
            >
            > Gary Thompson
            > Melbourne
            > No academic affiliation
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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