Wednesday, June 3, 2009

On the Eclecticism of the Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice

So, I am currently working on my Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice chapter, and anyone who has read the Songs might be struck by how the Songs take aspects of theophanies and descriptions of the temple and the throne/chariot from a wide variety of sources and bring them together. Ezekiel has long been recognized as a formidable influence, but I have been arguing that Exodus 25-30, while often recognized as an influence, is just as formidable if not more so than Ezekiel in terms of imagery, precise language, and partially for the structure of the latter half of the Songs--and even responsible for the idea of seeing the heavenly sanctuary on the Sabbath. Nonetheless, this organization, imagery, and language is enriched from a large variety of sources. The question then becomes: what does this synthesis mean? I came to my own conclusion long ago, but in my current reading I found my sentiments echoed by Philip Alexander:

The author(s) of the Sabbath Songs assumed that Moses, Ezekiel, Daniel, Isaiah and Elijah and all the other ancient prophets saw the same transcendent, divine reality, and so their various accounts of it could and should be harmonized together" (Mystical Texts, 59).

I wholeheartedly agree.

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